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TRAVELS 



IN WESTERN AFRICA, 

IN 1845 & 1846, 



C0MP&I8INO 



A JOURNEY FROM WHYDAH, 
THROUGH THE KINGDOM OF DAHOMEY, 

TO ADOEOODIA, 



IN THX iHTxaioa. 



BY JOHN DUNCAN, 

tXTE 01 TBI TIKST LIIE OVASDS, ADS OHS OV TBI 
LATE laOU XXrKDIItOH. 



IN TWO VOLUMES. 

VOL. II. 



LONDON : 

RICHARD BBNTLET, NEW BURLINGTON STREET, 
9ttblui)rt in ^rtinots to Aetr ^Itottfts. 

1847. 



AUG 19 1918 n 



•«•? 



. I 



LONDON : 
R CLA7, FllIKTER, BREAD STREET -HILL. 



CONTENTS OF VOL. II. 



k 



CHAPTER I. 

The Zafidah Mountains— Zoogah — Reception by the Caboceer— 
Bamay — Its Market — Curiosity of the People — Population — 
The Davity Mountains — Daragow — Qualifications for a Cabo- 
ceer — ^The River Zoa, or Lagos— Its wooded Banks— Perry — 
Superstition — Water-lilies — The Plain set on fire to destroy the 
Shea-butter Tree, &c. — ^Valley of Dimodicea-takoo — Kootok- 
pway — Gbowelley Mountain — ^Romantic Sceneiy — Hospitable 
Reception— The Mahees— Their total Defeat by the Dahomans 
— Ascent of the Mountain — Ruins of a Town — Skeletons of 
the Slain — Soil — Twisted Rock— Mineral Springs — Agbowa — 
Herds of Cattle— Paweea, its healthy Situation — Palaver with 
the Caboceer — Description of him— His Hospitality — ^The 
Markets— Guinea Com— Natives good Farmers — Cloth Manu- 
fiMJture— Native Loom — Hardware — Hyaena Trap — Admiration 
of my Sword — ^Review of native Soldiers— Population . page 1 

CHAPTER II. 

The Caboceer's Kindness to my Servant — Presents — Names of 
Caboceer, &c. — Granite Mountains— Tanks — The Adita — Soil — 
The Tawee — Mountains — Grain and Vegetables — The Zoglogbo 
Mountain — ^Reception by the Caboceer of Zoglogbo— Ascent 



[ 



IV CONTENTS. 

of the Mountain — Cotton-trees — Mountain-pass — Singular 
Situation of the Town — Houses — Dahoman Political Agent — 
Probable Origin of the Mountain — Kpaloko Mountain — Igno- 
rance, assumed or real, of the neighbouring Country by the 
Natives — The Dabadab Mountains — Superstition — Singular 
Method of conveying Cattle — Cruelty to the Brute Creation — 
Difficult Descent — ^Agriculture and Manufactures — Height of 
the Mountains — Death of Three Kings at Zoglogbo — Names of 
the Caboceer, &c. — Reception at Bafib — Costume of Caboceer 
and his Wife — His Principal Wives — Beautiful Birds — Gigantic 
Trees — Parasitical Plants — Singular Tree — Soil — Grain, Fruits, 
tc. — Cattle — Market-day, and Bustle of the Caboceer — Goods 
exposed for Sale — Rival Caboceers — Game — Pigeon-trap — Trial 
of Skill — Dog poisoned — Increasing Illness of my Servant — 
The Caboceer's principal Cook 27 



CHAPTER III. 

The River Loto — ^Jokao Mountain — Jetta — Reception by the 
Caboceer — Ruins of the old Town of Kpaloko — Its curious 
Formation — Its former Importance on account of its Manufac- 
tures — Desolating Effects of War — Attachment of the Natives 
to particular Spots — Natural Tanks in the Mountains — Mount 
Koliko — Precipitous Granite Rock — Similarity to Scottish 
Scenery — The Nanamie — Laow, and the Laow Mountain — 
Kossieklanan Cascade — Tamargee Mountains — Mineral Spring 
— Mount Koglo — Insulting Conduct of the Caboceer — Whagba 
— ^Caboceer's Hospitality — the Town — Inhabitants — Kindness 
of Athrimy, the Caboceer of Teo — War-Dance — Drunkenness 
— Names of the Caboceer, &c. — Game — Curious Pigeons — An 
Incident — Absurd Notion — ^Departure from Whagba — Names 
of the Caboceer, &c. — Hospitality of the Caboceers of Laow 
and Massey — Beautiful Valley — Impregnable Position — The 
Caboceer of Kpaloko — Grandeur of the Scene — Jeka Houssoo — 
The Dabadab Mountains — ^Difficulty in obtaining Information 
— Resolve to leave my Attendants — My Scheme — Departure 
— Zafoora — Soil, Grain, Trees, Plants, &c. — Shea-butter used 
for Ijamps 55 



CONTENTS. V 

CHAPTER IV. 

Zafoora— Terror of the Natives— Cold Reception by the King — 
My Disappointment — Exorbitant Charge— Unpleasant Posi- 
tion — Palaver with the King— Scene of the Defeat of the 
Dahomans— Inhospitality— The Shea-butter, and other Trees 
— The Gwbasso — Prevalent Diseases — Soil — The Velvet 
Tamarind — ^Wearisome Journey — Akwaba — Cold Reception 
by the Caboceer — His Disappointment — Slave Trade — Hard 
Bargain — Manufacture of Indigo — Hardware— The Ziffa— 
King Chosee and his Cavalry — Their Hostile Attitude — Mo- 
ment of Danger — Result of a Firm Demeanour — Respect 
shown by the King and Natives — Enter Koma with a Band of 
Music — Kind Reception — Introduction to the Kings Wives — 
Palaver with the King — The Niger known here as the Joleeba 
— Presents to the King — Babakanda — ^Exorbitant Charges for 
Provisions — Manufactures — Ginger, Rice, &c. — Seka — Bustle 
of the Caboceer — Slave Market — Trade Monopolized by the 
Caboceer — The Kolla-nut — Honey — Peto — Palaver with the 
Caboceer — Soil — Assofoodah — Hostile Reception — Palaver — 
Ridiculous Confusion — Inhospitality 80 

CHAPTER V. 

Inhospitality — Good Fortune — Soil — ^Mahomedan Town — Hymn 
of Welcome — The Natives, their Curiosity, &c. — Manufac- 
tures, &c — The Crown-bird domesticated — Quampanissa — 
Market Day — Curiosity of the Natives — A Cranery — Market 
Constables, their Functions — Singular Musical Instrument — 
A Palaver with the Caboceer — Bidassoa — Mishap — A Bivouac 
— Reception by the Caboceer — Palm Wine freely taken by 
Mahomedans — Superstition of the Natives — Grain Stores — 
Manufactures — Buffaloes — Fruit Trees — Horses, their market 
price here — Cattl e — Elephants — Manufactures — Game — Me- 
thod of Drying Venison — Trees, Shrubs, Grasses, &c. — Kosow 
— Terror of the Native Females — Appearance of the Caboceer 
— Palaver — Presents to the Caboceer — His Harem — Swim 
across the River Ofo— Its Width, &c.— The Town of Kasso- 
Kano — Slave-Market — The Women — Neighbouring Hills — 
Iron — Antimony — Native System of smelting Ore — Native 
Furnace and Bellows — Roguery — Bivouac 108 



VI CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER VI. 

Peculiar Breed of Dogs — The Town of Zabakano — Market Day 
— ^Native Manufactures — Domestic Slaves — Palm Oil — Joleeba, 
or Niger — Horses make part of the Family — Pelican Nest — 
Pigeons — Kindness of the Gadadoo — Pigeon Shooting — 
Palaver with the Gadadoo — Population — Mounted Soldiers 
— Character of the Scenery — Grooba — Manufactures — The 
Town of Sagbo — Drilling System general here — Two sorts 
of Rice — Received by the Gadadoo with great Pomp— Palaver 
— Dromedary and Elephant — Prevalent Diseases — The 
Town of Jakee — Reception — Ancient Custom— Breakfast of 
the Natives — Manu&ctures — Terror of the Natives — Chaly- 
beate Springs — The River Jenoo — The Land Tortoise — In- 
teresting Panorama — The Town of Kallakandi— Reception by 
the Sheik — Palaver— Band of Musicians — Peculiar Instru- 
ments — ^Manufactures, &c. — Slave Market — Horses — Laws — 
Cruel Punishment-^Population— Attack on a Boa-Constrictor 
— Manufactures — ^Deer — Method of Preserving Meat and Pish 
— Trap for Wild Animals — Town of Ongo — ^Reception by the 
Caboceer — Interesting Aspect of the Country .... 136 

CHAPTER VII. 

Ongo — Weariness of my Attendants — Bivouac — Alarm of my 
Horse at the Neighbourhood of Wild Beasts — Terror of the 
Natives — Their Kindness — ^Establishment for Mahomedan 
Converts — Singular Custom— My Anxiety to find Terrasso- 
weea, who had been present at the Death of Mungo Park — 
Loss of my Sand-glass — Its Construction — Adofoodia — The 
Market-Place — Reception by the King— Interview with Ter- 
rasso-weea — Ceremony of welcoming me — His Stores — Dis- 
covery of an Old Acquaintance — Narrative of his Adventures 
*— Terrasso-weea's House — His Wives — Inquire of him Particu- 
lars of the Fate of Mungo Park — His Relation of the Death 
of that Intrepid Traveller — Terrasso-weea an Eye Witness of 
it — Park's Property seized by the King — His Despotic Cha- 
racter — Flight of Terrasso-weea — My Palaver with the King 
— ^Hospitality of the Merchant — Information obtained respect- 
ing Timbuctoo— Market of Adofoodia. 163 



• • 



CONTENTS. Vll 

CHAPTER VIII. 

Return to Baffo — Anxiety of my Caboceer — Rejoicings for my 
Return — Our March — Fine Plain — Plants — Neutral Ground — 
Natives of the Dassa Mountains — ^Agriculture — The Annagoos, 
dangerous Enemies — Poisoned Arrows — Poisonous Plants — 
Alarm of my Attendants on my plucking it — Fatal Effects of 
this Plant and Dread of it by the Natives — Number of the 
Natives Blind, supposed to be the result of it — Unsucoesflful 
Attack on them by the Dahomans — Spiral Rocks — Hostile 
Demeanour of the Natives — They follow us with Menaces — 
Some Account of these Mountaineers and of the Dassa Moun- 
tains — The Blue Eagle — Cataracts — Beautiful Plain — One 
of my Cases of Rum broken by a Carrier — Twisted Marble of 
Variegated Colours — Path covered with Pepper-trees— Monkeys 
— ^Logazohy — Mayho's Town — The Caboceer — The Merchants 
— Their Names — Carelessness with respect to Fire — Visit of 
the Caboceer 190 

CHAPTER IX. 

Enter Logazohy in Regimentals — Received by the Caboceer, 
attended by his Soldierd — Singular Mode of Dancing — ^Native 
Jester — ^Description of the Town — Com Mills — ^Presents from 
Fetish-women — Agriculture — Prevalent Diseases — A dis- 
gusting Case of Leprosy — Quarrel among my Carriers — ^My 
Illness — The Damadomy — Trees, Shrubs — The Agbado — 
Rapid Construction of a Suspension Bridge by my Dahoman 
Guards — Savalu — ^Reception by the Caboceer — Picturesque 
Situation of the Town — Caboceer's House — His Wives — ^Hia 
Jester— My Illness 210 

CHAPTER X. 

Importance of the Caboceer of Savalu — Curiosity of the natives — 
State Constables— Military Dance— Introduction to the Fetish- 
women — Manufactures — Crane-shooting— Present by Fetish- 
women — Hospitality of the Caboceer— His Name and those of 



Vlll CONTENTS. 

his Head Men—Wild GnpeB— The Zoka —Shrubs —Swim 
across the Zoka — Mode of Transporting my Luggage — 
Difficulty in getting my Horse across — Fearlessness of the 
Dahoman Female Carriers— Bad Roads— Jallakoo—Beception 
by the Cabooeer — My Illness — -Appear in Regimentals before 
the Caboceer — Concern evinced on account of my Illness — 
Description of the Town — Agriculture — Caboceer's Name and 
those of his Head Men — Presents to the Caboceer. . . 229 

CHAPTER XT. 

My continued Illness— The Koffo— The Langhbo_Biyouac— Keep 
Sentinel— Shea-butter Trees— Springs impregnated with Iron 
— Gijah — Poverty of the Caboceer — Hospitality of Atihoh, 
the Merchant — Doko— Met by the Avoga of Wliydah — Eti- 
quette with regard to the Time of entering a Town — Enter 
Abomey — My Servant Maurice takes to his Bed — Sudden 
Change in the Temperature — Visit to the King — His Gra- 
tification at my safe Return — My Conversation with his 
Mjyesty — His Views with regard to the Slave Trade — His 
Desire to cede Whydah to the English Government — Dictates 
a Letter to me to that effect — His costly Tobes — Singular 
Piece of Patch-Work 263 

CHAPTER XII. 

Conversation with the King of Dahomey continued — Visit Coo- 
massie, another Palace of the King — Great Number of Human 
Skulls — Skulls of Kings taken in Battle — Death-drums — 
Peculiarity of Skulls — Craniums of the Fellattahs — Skulls of 
Rival Kings — Criminal Case heard by the King, and his 
Award — Death of my Servant Maurice — Regret of the King- 
Christian Burial of my Servant — The King's Kindness to me — 
My increasing Illness and Depression of Spirits— Method of Pro- 
curing Food in the Bush by the Dahoman Soldiers — My Alarm 
at the Dangerous State of my Wound — Make Preparations to 
amputate my Limb — My Recovery — My Last Conversation 
with the King — The King's Presents to the Queen of England 
— Present from him to her Majesty of a Native Girl — Escorted 



CONTfiHTS. IX 

out of Abomey, and Departure for Whydah — ^Abflord Custom 
— Canamina — Ahgrimah — My Pigeons from the Kong 
Mountains — Non-Arrival of some of my Carriers — Punish- 
ment awarded them for their Bogueiy on their Aniyal . 273 

CHAPTEB XIII. 

Akpway — Superstition of the Natives — Singular proceeding of 
my Bullock-Drivers — Arrival at Whydah — ^Eind Reception by 
Don Francisco de Suza — Eindness of all the Merchants — Part- 
ing Interview with M. de Suza — Sail for Cape Coast — Terror 
of the 3Cahee Girl (presented to the Qoeen) at the Roughness 
of the Sea — Arrival at Cape Coast — Kindness of Mr. Button — 
Dr. Lilley — Recover from my Fever — Kindness of the Wesleyan 
Missionaries— General Character of Africans— Hints with re^ird 
to Educating them — Observations on the Manners and Customs 
of the Dahoman, Mahee, and Fellattah Countries — ^Enlightened 
Conduct of the King of Dahomey — The Dahomans — Trade of 
Dahomey — Paganism — The Mahees — The Kong Mountains^ 
Sail for England 293 



ILLUSTRATIONS TO THE SECOND VOLUME. 



Mode or Execution at Dihovbv .... To fact the Title. 

TbE EORa MODSTAlllS, IN TBE NEiaHBOUKHOOD OF 

LoOiBOHT p. 219 



SlAIB ChAIB of TSX KlKd OF DtHOKET 272 

The Eng'a Stuf - - ■ 'S'2 



t 



TRAVELS 



WESTERN AFRICA. 



CHAPTER I. 

The Zafidah Mountains— Zoogih—KetepUon by the Csboeeer— 
BuD&y— Its Market — Curiosity ot the People — Population— - 
The I)aTit]r Mountains — Daragow — Qualifications for a Cabo- 
ceer — The River Zoa, or Lagos — Its irooded Banks — Ferry — 
Superstition— Watefliliea — The Plain set on Firs to dealroy the 
Shea-butter Tree, kc. — ^Valley of Dimodicea-lakoo — Kootok- 
pwaj — Qbowelley Mountain — Romantic Scenery— Hoapit^le 
Beception— The Maheos— Their total Defeat by the Dahomans 
— Ascent of the Mountain — Rains of a Town — Skeletons of 
the Slain— Soil— Twisted Koek— Mineral Springs— A gbowa— 
Horde of Cattle— Paweea, its healthy Situation— Palaver irith 
the Caboceer — Description of him — Hie Hospitality — The 
Markets- Quiuea Com— Natives good Farmers — Cloth Manu- 
tcture— Native Loom — Hardware— Hynna Trap— Admiral ion 
of my Snord — Review of native Soldiers — Population. 

July lltk— We marched from Setta at 8 a. m. , 
the first high land bearing from the north mde of 
the town N. 25" E., and named the Zafidoh moun- 
TOL, n, B 



2 TRAVELS IN 

tains^ distant about twelve miles. These mountains 
form the western extremity of a range, running 
as far to the eastward as the eye can reach. 
The path led directly to these mountains, and the 
surrounding country was of a beautiful cham- 
paign character, studded at considerable intervals 
with trees of various descriptions. 

About half a mile from Setta, and journeying 
N.E., we crossed a fine brook with a waterfall. 
The bed of the brook was of granite or quartz, in 
immense detached blocks, the brook running east- 
ward. Close to this ford is a small kroom, called 
Zoogah; and although we had come so short a 
distance the old patriarch or caboceer had pro- 
vided plenty of provisions for myself and private 
servants, with water and peto. The poor man 
also presented me with several fowls. He told 
me that the people of his small town had made a 
subscription and purchased these fowls to offer 
to me, but were ashamed to make so trifling a 
present, although they were anxious to show their 
good feeling towards the King's white stranger. 
He had told them what I had said at Setta to the 
old woman (for he was present on that occasion) 
who presented me with the two eggs. The kind* 
ness shown towards me now formed a perfect 



WESTERN AFRICA. 3 

contrast to that which I had experienced on the 
coasts where the character and disposition of the 
people are vile. I gave the caboceer some needles 
and thimbles^ with directions to distribute them 
amongst his people. 

At four miles from this place we arrived at a 
small kroom of about three hundred inhabitants, 
called Bamaj. Here is a good market, which 
is held weekly : it happened to be held on 
this day. The caboceer was waiting in the 
market-place to receive us, in all his grandeur. 
Here we had plenty of good water and pro- 
visions. Ihe caboceer seemed highly delighted 
at receiving a visit from a white man, and intro- 
duced me to all his head men and principal wives. 
The people assembled in the market-place all 
came running, pushing each other aside, with 
eager curiosity to obtain a sight of me. In the 
market, which is shaded with large trees, called 
by Europeans the umbrella-tree, they were selling 
cloth of the country, of various colours in stripe ; 
kao (saltpetre in its original state) which is 
found in the mountains ; different sorts of grain pro- 
duced in the country ; tobacco, and pipes made at 
Badagry, much resembling the head of the Ger- 
man pipe, but of red clay ; shalots and vegetables 

b2 



4 TRAVELS IX 

of various sorts for soups^ and also manioc or 
cassada-root ready cooked ; with yams^ plantains, 
and bananas, oranges, limes, pine-apples, cashu 
nuts, kolla or goora nuts, indigo and pepper ; snuff 
is also &pld here. Butcher^s meat is exposed for sale 
early in the morning, but if it be not sold quickly 
^t is cooked in the market-place, to prevent putre- 
faction. Sheep and goats are sold in the market, 
but, singular enough, I never saw a live bullock 
in the market in any part of Africa, except at Tan- 
giers. Fowls and eggs, and agricultural implements 
pf various descriptions, are also sold in all the 
markets of any magnitude in this part of the 
country. Here the land is well cultivated, and 
the crops are very good. 

This kroom contains about six hundred in- 
habitants, who are evidently of a different tribe 
to the people of Whydah. They are much better 
formed and more nimble, and apparently more 
capable of enduring fatigue than the natives on 
the coast. After distributing some small pre^ 
sents and some rum to the caboceer, we resumed 
our journey. 

At ten miles distant, and bearing (magnetic) 
E.S.E. the Davity mountains are seen. These 
mountains form a range extending from east to 



WESTERN' AFRICA. 5 

west, for a distance of about twelve miles, and are 
separated by a narrow plain from another range 
of mountains, distant about two miles. Both 
ranges are of conical or hogback character. At 
the distance of four miles and a half we reached 
Daragow, a small kroom of about three hundred 
inhabitants. Here we were welcomed by the 
caboceer, whose name was Badykpwa, a fine stout 
old man of about fifty- five years of age. 

The necessary qualifications for a caboceer in 
nearly all the kingdoms and petty states of Western 
and Central Africa, are, that he should be tall and 
stout; a beard is also indispensable. In many 
African kingdoms, indeed, rank is estimated by 
the length and thickness of the beard. 

At six miles we reached the banks of the river 
Zoa, here forty yards wide and seven feet deep. It 
is very muddy, for it is now the rainy season. Large 
blocks of granite rise above the surface; the bed 
of the river consists of a drab-coloured sand. The 
current is about two miles per hour, running 
(magnetic) E.S.E. The banks are thirty feet 
deep, and wooded on each bank with trees of 
gigantic size, whose enormous roots extend in all 
directions. The greater number of these roots 
run along the surface, in most cases crossing 



6 TRAVELB IN 

and re-crossing each other, presentmg the appear-^ 
ance of network. Their trunks are buttressed 
all round, somewhat like the cotton-tree. At 
about eight feet from the ground the buttresses, 
which so far are straight, break off in different 
directions, crossing each other around the trunk, 
like a number of large serpents wattled across each 
other. I did not observe any trees of the same 
description at a distance from the rivers. 

At this ferry we found a large canoe, which is 
left here for the use of passengers. By order of 
the king of Dahomey, all traders carrying goods 
are exempt from paying fees for crossing. Here 
we were detained for some time, the canoe not 
being capable of conveying more than ten persons 
without luggage at a time. I remained till all 
the party had been ferried over, except the 
caboceer, or captain, and the other principal offi- 
cers of my suite. When we embarked, the captain 
begged me to sit in the bottom of the canoe with 
my face towards the stern, so that in crossing I 
was conveyed backwards. When I remonstrated 
with him on the absurdity of doing so, he de- 
clared it to be " bad fetish " for any great man 
in crossing water to look in the direction he is 
proceeding, assuring me also that he was an- 



J 



WE8TEBN AFRICA. 7 

swerable for mj safety, and that should anything 
of an unpleasant nature happen to me he should 
be severely punished, or if any thing should occur 
to my personal injury he should lose his head. 
When I found the poor fellow, who was under 
these restrictions, felt distressed at the observations 
I had made, I readily assented to all his instruc- 
tions and directions. My little horse swam across, 
tied to the canoe, which materially assisted us in 
getting it across. 

This river is the same as the river Lagos 
at Badagry on the coast, although here called 
the Zoa; but the same thing occurs all over 
Africa where I have yet been. I am also in- 
formed that this same river has two other distinct 
names, between this place and the place where it 
takes the name of Lagos, which fully accounts 
for many supposed errors of our travellers, as well 
as many errors in fact. 

Our party having now all safely crossed the 
liver, we immediately resumed our journey 
amongst thickets of underwood scarcely pass- 
able, the bushes having closed in and across the 
path, and joined over the narrow sheep-track 
for such it really was. After travelling half 
a mile, the path became more open, and we sud- 
denly came upon a small lake or pond, apparently 



8 TBAYELS IN 

of stagnant water, with the delicate water-lily 
sprinkled oyer its surface. The sight of these 
beautiful flowers, coming upon us so unexpectedly, 
created a very pleasing sensation, for they were 
exactly the same as the water-lily of England. 

The country now opened, and the path, clear 
of bush, became less irksome to the traveller. 
I observed here that the grass had been recently 
burnt, and inquiring of my guide the reason of 
it, was informed that the whole surface was set 
on fire twice annually, to the extent of many 
square miles. This is done for the double purpose 
of destroying the reptiles and insects, as well as 
the decayed vegetable, and also to annihilate the 
vegetative powers of the shea butter-tree, which 
grows here in great abundance. At seven miles 
the path changed its direction to the eastward. 
The land was level, but exhibited no cultivation, 
nor any appearance of human habitation. At 
eight miles and a half a valley opened upon us 
on a gentle slope, with a brook running to the 
eastward. 

At ten miles we crossed another valley of greater 
depth, called by my guide, Dimodicea-takoo. 
On each side of the path were numerous aloes of 
various descriptions. The aloes which have a 
mark on the leaves like a partridge's wing, were 



WESTERN AFRICA. d 

at this time in seed. My servant Maurice now 
begun to complain very much of pain in his head 
and loins^ and seemed quite exhausted, although 
he had ridden my horse ever since I had crossed 
the Zoa. 

At twelve miles and a half we crossed another 
valley and brook, running eastward, named Koo- 
tokpway. At thirteen miles and a half we reached 
a stupendous mountain, called Gbowelley, Here 
the path suddenly changed to NN.W., passing 
near to the base of the mountain, which forms the 
western extremity of a range of less magnitude 
than this. At its foot, and at its western ex- 
tremity, is a small kroom, of about two hundred 
inhabitants. It is very pleasantly situated on the 
plain or division between Gbowelley and another 
chain, or rather crescent of mountains, at a few 
miles farther to the westward, commanding a view 
of high mountains to the northward. This sudden 
and delightful change seemed to inspire all of us 
with fresh animation and spirits ; for though we had 
passed over several tracts of country partaking 
somewhat of the character of hills, we were now 
almost on a sudden directly amidst a number of 
stupendous mountains of great magnitude and 
singularity of character, at once romantic and 
pleasing. The old caboceer was warned of our 

na 



10 TRAVELS IN 

approach by the noise of our drums^ and was close 
to the path awaiting our arrival with plenty of 
kankie, water, and peto for our refreshment, 
which were very acceptable to all of us: for my 
own part, I felt quite prepared for a hearty meal, 
without scrutinizing it. Here the air felt re- 
freshing and pure, and rushed in a current 
between the mountains. 

The old caboceer was of commanding figure, 
about five feet ten inches in height, of pleasing 
countenance, and of quick and intelligent manner* 
He was a native of Dahomey, and in great con- 
fidence with the King. He took pleasure in boast- 
ing that he had seen me at Dahomey during the 
custom or holiday, having been invited to the latter 
place purposely to receive orders from his Majesty 
respecting my treatment when I should arrive in 
the Mahee country, f He had despatched orderlies 
to every town occupied by a caboceer, to deliver 
the King's orders respecting me. / It was now that 
my suppositions were realized respecting the kindr 
ness shown me on my journey, via. that the King 
had given orders as to every particular, however 
trifling, respecting my treatment and the presents 
I was to receive. fThe caboceer is named Hah, 
and the old man was sent here from Dahomey at 
the- time of its surrender to the Dahomans. | 



WESTERN AFRICA. II 

The inliabitBiitB of these moantBinB are called 
Mahees, and occopy part of the country of that 
Dame. They made a determined resistance against 
the Dahomans, and held out for seven moons, or 
months, having poseession of the monnt^ns, and 
concealing themselves in the fissures and caves, 
advancing and retreating in turn according to cir^ 
cumstonces. Though their numbers were great, 
yet the caution and skill of their besiegers pre- 
vailed; for they bad the advantage of good fire- 
arms, and were able to avail themselres of the 
crops and cattle on the plains at the base of the 
motintains. The Dahomans always choose the 
harvest season for besieging a mountain; and 
although the steepness of these mountwns renders 
the ascent of a besi^ing army impos^ble, they 
can 80 entirely blockade the occupants from all 
c<Hnmunication with the plain, as soon either to 
starve them to death, or compel them to surrender 
to their enemies, at discretion. 

These mountaineers never think of reserving 
any of their corn or other produce as stores, so 
that they invariably become an easy prey, though 
in this country they can r^se four crops in the 
year. The Mahees use the bow and arrow, the 
King of Dahomey forbidding the transport of fire- 
arms through his kingdom from the coast. The 



12 TRAYEI^ IN 

old caboceer and mj guide both informed me^ that, 
during the Beven months' war in Gbowdley and 
the neighbouring mountains to the eastward^ four 
hundred caboceers were killed^ so that, allowing 
only a proportion of one hundred individuals to 
each caboceer, at least forty thousand men must 
have perished. 

After a great deal of remonstrance and per- 
suasion with the caboceer and my captain, a pro- 
mise was given that I should be allowed to examine 
the mountain, but upon condition that I would 
take my shoes off, so that I should incur less risk 
in climbing up the steep fissures, which are not 
wide enough to admit of more than one man in 
width. The old caboceer took the lead in ascend- 
ing, giving me his hand the whole of the way up ; 
and my own caboceer kept close behind me, fear- 
ing lest I might slip. In our ascent I observed 
many very large cotton-trees in the fissures, with 
scarcely any soil to support them. Monkeys were 
very numerous amongst the branches. 

After gaining the top, in a sort of hollow or 
basin, on one side of the dome-shaped summit, 
were the remains apparently of a large town. 
This place was truly the picture of desolation, 
and the ravages of war and famine presented 
themselves on aU sides. Hundreds of human 



WESTERN AFRICA. 13 

skulls, of different sizes, were still to be seen ; as 
also the skulls of sheep, goats, and ox^n. No 
doubt the latter named animals had been used as 
food by the people whose remains we saw around 
us, the greater part of whom had been starved to 
death rather than surrender. Many of the soldiers 
of my guard had been on service during this siege, 
and described the scene on ascending as of the 
most awfu] description. The bodies of the dead 
in a putrid state were, it appears, mixed with 
those who were still alive, but unable to move; 
many were wounded with bullets, whose limbs 
were rotting off and covered with vermin ;* and 
the air was so pestiferous, that many of the Daho-» 
mans died from its effects. The vultures tore the 
bodies of the poor wounded people, even while they 
were yet alive. In many of the small fissures I 
observed the remains of various domestic quadru- 
peds, together with human bones, very probably 
carried there by the vulture or eagle, also natives 
of this mountain, as well as the common fox, the 
panther, and large hyaena, or patakoo, the name 
given to it by the natives, 

* This may appear an exaggeration, but I assure my readers, 
that I hare had a large quantity taken from a yery severe 
wound I received when in the Niger expedition. Pr. Williams 
and Dr. Thompson can corroborate my assertion. The African 
Hy blows live maggots instead of eggs. 



14 TRAVELS IX 

This mountain is formed by horizontal beds 
about forty feet deep, composed of gneiss or 
granite, each bed differing in quality from another 
in the proportions of feltspar and mica. It rises 
at an angle of 23". All the mountains in this 
neighbourhood rise abruptly, and are very steep^ 
— ^in fact, on some sides, they are nearly per- 
pendicular, the plain in most cases being truly 
level to the very base of the mountains. 

After descending, and returning to the place 
where I left my party refreshing themselves, I 
found many of them in a partial state of intoxica- 
tion, from too freely indulging in the use of the 
peto. My poor man Maurice, induced by a high 
state of fever, had attempted to allay his thirst by 
copiously partaking of the same liquor. After 
giving some small presents to the caboceer and 
principal people, we resumed our journey. Just 
as we began our march, the rain descended in tor-^ 
rents. Fortunately, while at Whydah, I had made 
myself a waterproof cloak, which I now gave to 
my poor white man, who seemed a little revived 
after his rest and the stimulating effects of the 
peto. He proposed walking; but I knew that 
his revival was only temporary, and compelled 
him to ride. 

The path was now very deeply worn with the 



WESTERH AFRICA. 15 

Iieary rains, a stream pouring down and washing 
all the soil from amongst the stones, leaving only 
the iron stone or ore, which rendered walking 
very unpleasant. The country was level, with 
the exception of a gentle declivity in the direction 
in whieh we were now proceeding (NN.W.). 
The plain at intervals was studded with large and 
small blocks of granite, some round, others angu- 
lar, but the foundation chiefly iron, which I 
have observed in many places, only covered with 
a thin surface of vegetable soil of a loamy nature. 
The surface of the iron is quite smooth, and 
resembles our pavement of asphalte in London. 
In some places the iron rock is entirely bare, and 
has every appearance of having run to its own 
level while in a state of fusion. 

The soil now changed to a rich sand and clay, 
very productive. I observed some fine specimens 
of the twisted rock, but without any mica in 
its composition, being more compact and solid 
than the composition of the last-named mountain, 
and of a similar character to marble, of blue, 
black, and white mixture. Here we were again 
met by the caboceer and a number of his people, be- 
longing to a small kroom at some considerable dis- 
tance from the path. They brought us plenty of 
kankie and peto. We again stopped for some time, 



16 TRAVELS IN 

and made inquiry respecting the neighbourhood, 
but I invariably found it impossible to obtain any 
information respecting any other locality than their 
own immediate vicinity, unless from some of the 
traveUing merchants. After giving a small pre- 
sent, which is always necessary on such occasions, 
we resumed our journey. Close to the path were 
several mineral springs, powerfully impregnated 
with iron. These springs are permanent. This 
country is beautifully watered, having a great 
many springs of various qualities, and numerous 
small brooks. 

The rains are more regular here than near the 
coast, and thunder is much less frequent. No doubt 
the extreme fertility of the soil in this locality is 
attributable to the good supply of water from the 
regular rains and springs, for four crops of corn 
I was told are obtained in one year. 

At nineteen miles and a half, bearing or direc-- 
tion of the path, we changed to east, and crossed 
the brook Halee, which runs eastward, with water 
sufficient to propel machinery of any ordinary 
power. At twenty miles and a half. Mount Weesee, 
bearing west, and Lusee to the east. At twenty- 
one miles we came upon a brook called Agbowa, 
with abundance of water. Here the land is well 
cultivated. This is the first place in Africa where 



WESTERN AFRICA. 17 

I have observed the use of manure in agriculture^ 
Some Guinea corn, which is planted in drill, 
measured ten feet in height, the maize about 
eight feet. Here are large herds of very fine 
cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs; the Guinea fowl 
and common domestic fowl, as well as partridges 
of great size, are also abundant. The turtle-dove 
abounds here, as in most other places in the 
vicinity of towns and villages. 

At twenty-one miles and a half we arrived at 
Paweea, a very large town, composed chiefly of. 
low square huts, very neat and clean, with several 
lai^e markets. At the entrance of the town we 
were met by the caboceer and his soldiers, part of 
whom were armed with muskets, and accoutred 
in the same manner as my own guard ; the rest 
were armed with the bow and arrow. Paweea is 
well situated, and commands a view of the sur- 
roimding country to a great distance. The atmo- 
sphere is much clearer here than on the coast, or 
even at Abomey, so that the surrounding moun- 
tains are very distinctly observable, and minor 
objects perfectly seen at a very considerable dis- 
tance, in comparison with the coast. 

The caboceer, and his principal attendants and 
men of office, led us into the principal market- 
place within the walls, which is held under several 



18 TRAVELS IN 

large trees, covering about three quarters of an 
acre. Here we seated ourselves, and the usual 
complimentary pakyer of welcoming the King's 
Stranger to the town of Paweea followed, and a 
large calabash of water was offered to me, after it 
had been tasted. Then the rum was passed round 
amongst all my people. Aflber this indispensable 
ceremony was concluded, we were directed to my 
lodgings, which were not far distant. 

The houses here are superior to those of many 
other towns, consequently I had comfortable 
quarters for myself and people. The caboceer 
was a fine, stout, square-built man, and very 
agreeable both in person and manner, but with a 
very singularly-formed head above the temples, 
narrowing acutely to the upper part of the skull. 
This gave his head the appearance of having been 
squeezed or pressed. He seemed, however, pos- 
sessed of more than the ordinary sense of his 
countrymen, and appeared to be in every way 
anxious to accommodate and please us. Plenty of 
excellent provisions were soon brought to my 
apartments for myself and people. 

After we had finished our meal, the caboceer 
and several of the principal members of his retinue 
came to spend an hour with us. Upon this oc- 
casion I ordered some rum to be unpacked and 



WESTERN AFRICA. 19 

distributed amongst them. I was mudi gratified 
to find the caboceer enter so fully into conversi^ 
tion^ and make so many shrewd inquiries respect- 
ing England^ our manufactures and laws. He 
also seemed very communicative, and willing to 
give me every information in his power respecting 
his own country. He had been in command 
during the late war, and had of course travelled a 
considerable distance beyond his own locality. 

In this town peto is made entirely from the 
Guinea corn, not as on the coast, from the maize or 
Indian com. It is a very agreeable liquor, and less 
sweet than that made from the Indian corn. After 
conversing about two hours, the caboceer with- 
drew, to allow me to repose, which was very 
agreeable to me, for I was very tired. 

July 12th. — ^Early in the morning a messenger 
arrived from the caboceer with his cane, which he 
presented to me with his master's compliments, 
desiring to know if I were quite well, and how I 
slept. Soon after the messenger had left me, 
the caboceer came, preceding his commissariat train, 
with an immense quantity of provision in large 
and small calabashes, containing beef, pork, 
mutton, fowl, kankie, dabadab, and a delicious dish 
made from a vegetable called occro, which when 
boiled forms a gelatinous substance, and is very 



20 TRAVELS IK 

strengthening. This dish is seasoned with palm 
oil and pepper. The provisions in all amounted 
to twenty bushels. The good old caboceer of 
Gbowelley, whom we left; yesterday, sent some of 
his people after us this morning with a present of 
one goat, three fowls, and a large ealabash of kankie. 
This was an acknowledgment for some presents, 
which I had given to him when I left him. The 
carriers and messengers were quite delighted when 
I presented each of them with some needles and 
thimbles, and returned home rejoicing. 

After breakfast, the caboceer wished me to walk 
round his town with him — seeming anxious to 
gratify his people with a glimpse or sight of the 
King's stranger. This was just what I wished, as 
I was anxious to acquire as much information as 
possible during the short time I had to spare. 
Accordingly we visited the markets, which were 
well supplied with provisions and articles of 
manufacture. I noticed amongst other things 
some English chequered handkerchiefs. Native 
cloth, of various quality and colours, was exposed 
for sale. Kaom, or saltpetre, is very abundant in 
the Kong mountains, and is sold in the markets 
in all the towns in the vicinity. It is used 
as medicine, and, as in England, is much in 
requisition for cattle. Deer skins of various 



WESTERN AFBICA. 21 

species are sold in the market, also nuts of various 
sorts^ as well as different kinds of beans and peas. 
Ginger is very abundant in this neighbourhood, 
and is sold at about eight-pence per Winchester 
bushel. The com is now nearly ripe, and some of 
the Guinea corn is as much as ten feet high, so 
that the town is entirely concealed until the fence, 
which invariably encloses the African towns on 
the plain, is passed. The prickly bush at Abomey 
is planted like a double hedge round the town, and 
is about ten yards wide, so that to a European it 
would seem a matter of impossibility ever to break 
through it. The female soldiers of Dahomey, 
however, as I have already mentioned, are capable 
of taking one of these towns with apparently 
little trouble. 

The owners of the numerous herds of cattle 
keep them in folds or pens in the town, and the 
dung is preserved for manure. They are excellent 
farmers, eyen in thia remote part, where they 
never can have had intercourse with any civilized 
being. They also manufacture very good cloth, 
although their method is certainly tedious, the 
thread being spun by the distaff, and their loom 
being of a very simple construction, though 
upon the same principle as our linen looms in 
JJngl^d. Their, web is necessarily narrow, not 






22 TSAVELS IN 

exceeding six inches. As they have not yet found 
out the use of the shuttle, they merely hand the 
reel through the shade from one side to the other 
in putting in the weft ; and instead of treadles to 
set the foot upon, they use two loops, which are 
suspended from the treadles, into which they put 
their big toes, which act upon the same principle as 
the treadle. The warp is not rolled round a beam, 
as in our looms, but kept at its extreme length, 
and the farther end is made fast to a large stone 
or heavy substance, which is gradually drawn 
towards the weaver as he progresses in his work. 

Iron is very good in this neighbourhood, and 
is worked with considerable skill. Their imple- 
ments for agricultural purposes are much superior 
to those manufactured nearer the coast. Sweet 
potatoes, yams, and manioc or cassada, are cul- 
tivated here with great success. 

The different articles sold in the market are 
nearly the same as I have already mentioned at 
Whydah. I was amused upon being shown a 
patakoo or large hyaena trap, from the simplicity of 
its construction. It is about twenty feet long and 
two feet broad. The walls are thick and strong. 
The trap is constructed upon the same principle as 
some of those used in England for catching various 
sorts of vermin without destroying or injuring 



WESTERN AFRICA. 23 

them. A goat or young kid is placed in a cage 
in the trap, at the farthest extremity from the 
entrance, and the hyaena, or panther, (whichever 
may happen to pass,) is attracted by the bleating of 
the kid. Upon entering the trap, it must step on 
a board with a string attached, the other end of 
which is connected with a trigger which suspends 
a sliding door. Upon the trigger being puUed, 
the sliding door immediately drops and incloses 
the animal. It is then sometimes maimed or 
baited with dogs. 

Dinner-time had now arrived, and we returned 
to our quarters, when it was soon afterwards 
brought in, and consisted of one large hog, three 
goats, sixteen fowls, and a fine bullock, all which 
were served up in excellent style, with plenty of 
dabadab and kankie, and round balls of cakes made 
with meal and palm oil, baked or roasted together 
with abundance of peto. 

After dinner, the caboceer expressed a desire to 
see me in uniform, and wished also that the cere- 
mony of receiving me on entering his town should 
be repeated as the King's stranger, similar to my 
reception on the previous evening. This requisi- 
ti(m was not very agreeable to me, as my white 
man Maurice was still very ill and in low q>irits. 
However, T prepared myself soon after dinner, and 



24 TRAVELS IN 

mounted my little charger. The caboceer ex» 

amined my horse and accoutrements very minutely, 

as also my appointments. My sword, large knife, 

^ as they called it, excited much admiration from 

' its brightness, and above all, for its pliability in 

bending and again resuming its original form. 
Their short swords are made of iron, but have no 
' spring in them. He next examined my double- 

barrelled gun, and seemed much astonished at the 
percussion caps, believing that the cap alone was 
also the charge, no doubt from its loud report, 
waiter explaining it to him, he seemed much 
gratified. 

We then proceeded out of the town, one half of 
my guard in front, and the other in my rear, with 
the caboceer's soldiers in rear of the whole, one 
half of whom were armed with bows and arrows. 
After proceeding about half a mile from the town 
into an open piece of ground not planted with 
corn, the soldiers commenced a review and sham 
fight, which, although it did not display any great 
complication of manoeuvres, was interesting from 
the quickness of their motions, and significant 
gestures. 

After the review was over, we returned to the 
market-place, when all my soldiers commenced 
dancing. This was kept up alternately by my 



WESTERN AFRICA. 25 

guard, and the soldiers belonging to the town. 
In this country each caboceer invariably keeps a 
clown or jester, many of whom are clever and 
amusing on account of their ready wit. After the 
dance, which lasted about two hours, I gave each 
of the party some rum, which is always expected 
on such occasions. I then retired to my quarters, 
accompanied by the caboceer, who seemed very 
anxious to maintain a friendly conversation, evi- 
. dently with a view to obtain information on 
general topics. He remained till a late hour, when 
he retired to his home, leaving me once more to 
enjoy my own reflections upon what I had seen, 
and to take notes for my Journal. 

The town of Paweea contains about sixteen 
thousand inhabitants. They seem rather an 
industrious race in comparison with those near 
the coast, f Here, as well as in most other towns 
in the neighbourhood, the mechanic is very much 
esteemed on account of his craft, but especially 
the blacksmith, who in their own language is 
called a cunning man, ranking next to the fetish- 
man or priest. ) The soil round this place is 
a rich sandy loam, and the land well watered, 
consequently, the crops are abundant, and the 
people are in the enjoyment of plenty, with but 
little labour. They seem a very happy race, and 
VOL. n. c 



26 TRAVELS IN 

well satisfied with their present goyemment and 
laws^ which, previous to their subjection to the 
King of Dahomey, were arbitrary and cruel in 
the extreme* This town has two strong gates on 
the south-east and north-west sides, which are 
closed at simset, and guarded by soldiers or watch- 
men, who take that duty in turn. 



WESTERN AFRICA. 27 



CHAPTER 11. 

The Caboceer's Kindness to my Serrant— Presents — Names of Ca- 
boceer, &c. — Granite Mountains — Tanks — The Aditay — Soil — 
The Tawee — Mountains — Grain and Vegetables — ^The Zoglogbo 
Mountain — Beception by the Caboceer of Zoglogbo — Ascent 
of ihe Mountain — Cotton-trees — Mountain-pass — Singular 
Situation of the Town — ^Houses — ^Dahoman Political Agent — 
Probable Origin of the Mountain— Epsdoko Mountain — Igno- 
rance, assumed or real, of the Neighbouring Country by the 
Natiyes — The Dabadab Mountains — Superstition — Singular 
Method of conveying Cattle— Cruelty to the Brute Creation — 
Difficult Descent — Agriculture and Manu&etures — Height of 
the Mountains — Death of Three Kings at Zoglogbo— Names of 
the Caboceer, &c. — Beception at Bafib— Costume of Caboceer 
and his Wife— His Principal Wives— Beautiful Birds— Gigantic 
Trees— Paramtical Plants— Singular Tree -Soil— Grain, Fruits, 
&C. — Cattle— Market-day, and Bustle of the Caboceer — Goods 
exposed for Sale — ^Bival Caboceers — Game — ^Pigeon-trap — ^Trial 
of Skill — ^Dog poisoned — Increasing Illness of my Servant — 
The Caboceer's principal Cook. 

Sunday, July 13tL — Early in the morning the 
caboceer again Bent me plenty of provisions for 
myself and people, and showed great kindness 
to Maurice, my white servant, using every 
means to induce him to partake of some food, 
bringing amongst other dishes one made of meal 

c2 



28 TRAVELS IK 

and water boiled together, sweetened with honey, 
and aboat the consistence of thin gruel. This 
composition is used as we do tea in England, but 
is of course much more substantia]. I relished 
it very much. My poor servant also partook of 
a considerable portion, but he could not rally, 
having lost all the courage of which he had so 
often boasted. The caboceer then desired us to 
proceed again to the market-place, where we 
found two fine bullocks tied to a tree ; one was a 
present to the King of Dahomey, and the other 
to myself. 

After going through the usual compliments 
on either side, we marched on our journey till we 
came to the gates on the north-east of the town, 
where several of the principal officers of the 
staflT of the caboceer's household approached him, 
apparently in great anxiety, whispering something 
to the caboceer. After this, the captain of my 
guard communicated to me that the caboceer of 
Paweea begged that I woidd honour himself and 
head men so far, as to enter their names in my 
book. This is, in all places in the Dahoman 
kingdom, considered the highest honour that 
can possibly be conferred upon them. To this 
request I readily acceded; and in a short time 



WESTERN AFRICA. 29 

had all their names n^istered in my fetish- 
book^ as they called it. After entering the names, 
as given by the oaboceer's principal officer, I 
was yery shrewdly asked to caU each individual 
by their name, as this was considered a puzzler 
for me ; but when they found that I called the 
roll correctly, they all seemed surprised and de- 
lighted. A report to the same effect soon spread 
over the greater part of the Mahee country. We 
now took our final departure from the town of 
Paweea. 

I here record the names of the head men 
according to my Jounml: — 



Caboceer^B name 

Ist Headman 

2d do. 

4th do. 

5th do. 

6th Head Musician 



TerrasBo-Weea. 

Adah. 

Chaaoulong. 

Daowdie. 

Avamagbadjo. 

Hawsoo-Agwee.* 



The names of Mayho's traders from Abomey, 
who treated myself and people with provisions 
and peto at Paweea f were : — 

Toaaao. Takie. Bowka. 

Adassie. Howta. Kossau. 

Nookodoo. 



* I found this man was a native of Houssa, which accounts for 
his snmame. 
t The inhabitants of Paweea are about three thousand. 



30 TRAVELS IN 

We now passed through the gate, which is 
very strong. The walls of the town are very 
thick, and are composed of reddish-coloured clay. 
Close to the gates is the weekly market-place, 
held under several large trees, which afford a 
grateful shade from the sun, as well as a temporary 
protection from the rain. In the whole of the 
Mahee country which I have yet visited, I find 
that the weekly markets are held without the 
walls, to prevent as much as possible strangers 
entering the town. The daily markets are seldom 
attended by any except their own people, princi- 
pally for a mutual exchange of goods of native 
manufacture. 

About nine a.m. we recommenced our journey, 
the path bearing N.E., aad at one mile N. 35^ E. I 
noticed the chain of mountains running N.E. and 
S.W., distant about four miles, and bearing north 
from Paweea. The country round, however, is 
level, and studded with palm and other trees. 
In the distance, the immense blocks of granite 
appeared stratified, or divided into perpendicular 
sections, but upon a nearer approach were found 
to be only marks left by the running down of 
the water which accumulates in naturally formed 
basins or tanks on the tops, apparently formed by 
the heavy rains acting powerftdly on the softer 



k<M.i<uaifa- 



WESTEBN AFIUCA. 31 

parts of the rock. From tbs exuesaive heat, this 
water soon becomes foul, aad the first eucceeding 
rains cause an overflow, marking the rock in 
dark streaks, and ^ving it the appearance I have 
stated. 

At a mile and a half, hearing north, the soil 
became gravelly, studded with trees. At two 
miles and a hal^ hearing ^ain ntolh, we crossed 
the brook Aditay, running eastward, over a rocky 
bottom of hlue granite. This beautiful clear 
stream is, pn an average, during the season only 
two feet deep and six wide. It is a perma- 
nent stream, capable of propelling machinery. 
At three miles and a half, the bearing changed to 
E. N. E., with clear springs, impregnated with iron. 
The temperature was 64° Fahrenheit. The land is 
still level, and the soil of the dark colour of de- 
cayed vegetation. At five miles we crossed the 
river Tawee, running east. This river is wider 
than the last, with a gravelly bed ; current less 
rapid, but also capable of turning machinery. 

At seven miles I observed two mountwns of 
oonsiderable magnitude, and very picturesque, 
distant from the path two miles, and bearing 
N. 35° W. The land is beautifully cultivated along 
the foot of tlie mouut^ns. The drilling system 
is followed here with the com, both in the Daho- 



32 TRAVELS IN 

man and Mahee countries, and with all sorts of 
gndn, as well as with the sweet potato ; but 
yams are planted in moimds about three feet in 
height, of a conical form. In this part, however, 
the yams are inferior generally to those grown 
on the coast, being what are called water-yams, 
which are much softer than those found near 
Whydah. Four different sorts of maize, or 
Indian com, are grown here, the smallest of 
which produces four crops in twelve months. The 
Guinea corn is also very abimdant, as well as 
another grain which grows about the same height. 

At ten miles, we arrived at the foot of the 
mountain of Zoglogbo, a splendid specimen, al- 
though not more than eighteen hundred feet high 
on the south-east side. We halted at a small 
kroom at its foot, in the market-place, where I 
changed my dress at the desire of the captain of 
my guard, and put on my regimentals to receive 
the caboceer of Zoglogbo. I had scarcely finished, 
when he arrived with his retinue. He is a re- 
markably fine old man, apparently about sixty 
years of age, and of a very venerable appearance. 
He is nearly six feet high, and altogether of a 
noble and graceful figure. He approached within 
about five yards of the place where I was seated. 



II r m II BiBTi I 



WEBTBBN AFBICA. 



by the side of the caboceer or cf^t^ of my 
guard, when, before epeakiDg a word, he, together 
with his head men and attendaats, pro8trat«d 
themselves, throwing dust on their heads, and 
rubbing their arms with the same. My own 
caboceer next prostrated himself, going through 
eimilar forme of humility. Both parties after- 
wards remained on their knees, and delivered the 
King's message respecting the King's stranger, as 
they constantly called me. We then drank water 
with each other, previous to the introduction of 
rum, of which our new and venerable friend 
Kpatchie seemed very fond. 

We now proceeded to ascend the mount^n by 
a narrow fissure or iracture nearly perpendicular, 
passing in our ascent many very large cotton- 
trees, dispersed irregularly in the different crevices 
of the roclc. Numbers of large monkeys of dif- 
ferent species were playing amongst the boughs, 
but they were rather wild, being hunted for their 
flesh, which is used here for food. The passage 
up the side of the mountain is so narrow, as only 
to admit of one man passing at a time, and very 
steep and difficult, on accoxmt of the many blocks 
of stone which impede the ascent. It would have 
been impossible for me to ascend with my shoes 
on, had not the old caboceer of the mountain 
c3 



34 TRAVELS Dl 

walked in front and given me his hand, and 
another person pushed at my back, as occasion 
required. 

After a somewhat toilsome though romantic 
journey, we arrived at the gates of the town, 
which were of very thick planks of seven inches, 
strongly barred with iron. After passing the 
gates the path was much easier and not so steep, 
from the fissure not being filled so high, so 
that the top of the fissure was far above the 
head, apparently above twenty yards. After 
passing a little distance farther we came upon the 
town, which is situated in a basin, or crater, 
formed in the centre of the top of the mountain. 
Sound the outer edge of this immense basin are 
thrown tremendous blocks of various sizes, under- 
neath which many houses are built. Although 
these blocks are placed on each other in such a 
tottering position, the houses in the centre of the 
town are erected with considerable taste and r^u- 
larity . The residences of the principal merchants 
and influential members of the town are built in 
the form of squares or quadrangles, which are 
occupied by their wives, which are frequently very 
numerous, as well as their families. Their slaves 
also occupy a part of the buildings, and are treated 
as well as their own families. Indeed, as I have 



WSSTEBN AFRICA. 35 

already observed, they work together in cultivating 
the fields, or any other domestic employment* 

The caboceer led us to a tolerably good house 
with every necessary utensil for our use. Many 
presents of various descriptions were brought to 
me, the old caboceer seeming much pleased at the 
kindness of his people to the King's stranger. 
His own kindness and attention were unbounded, 
as well as those of his principal attendant, a young 
man of rank from Dahomey, and the handsomest 
and most intelligent African I had ever met. ]| The 
BaQgof Dahomey displays great sagacity in sending 
Dahomans to the frontiers between the Mahees, 
Yarriba, and Fellattahs. These men, although 
acting as principal attendants to chiefs or caboceers 
of the subdued Mahees, are nothing more nor less 
than political spies, the upper rank of such persons 
preventing any combination or aUiance dangerous 
to the power of the King of Dahomey,! although 
generally the Mahees seem very much pleased 
with their present government and new laws. 

Aft;er we had established ourselves in our 
quarters, we were supplied with plenty of peto 
and clean water to drink, and the caboceer sat 
down and enjoyed himself with us, often express- 
ing his gratification at being visited by the King's 
stranger. In a short time large quantities of 
provision were brought for us, and as usual ready 



36 TRAVELS IN 

cooked. Being rather hungry, we made a pretty 
hearty meal, and afterwards were agiun joined by 
the old caboceer, and several of the merchants or 
traders from Abomey, who presented me with a 
large quantity of peto. 

It now commenced a very heavy rain, conse- 
quently we were obliged to content ourselves with 
remaining in the house, and conversing upon diffe- 
rent topics respecting England and Africa. I found 
while conversing on the state and government of 
Dahomey, a certain backwardness in their replies, 
unless through my own caboceer. Whether this 
arose from a want of knowledge on the subject, or 
in compliance with orders given to refer such ques^ 
tions to the caboceer of my guard, I am unable 
to decide, but should suppose that this latter was 
the fact. During the evening the caboceer partook 
too much of the peto and rum, accompanied with 
large quantities of snuff, which he administered 
alternately to his mouth and nose. Several per- 
sons were admitted and introduced to me by 
him. My poor servant Maurice, although I had 
given him my horse the whole of the day's journey, 
was now quite knocked up, and extremely low in. 
spirits. After spending a tolerably comfortable 
evening my friends departed, and I went to rest 
for the night. 



WESTERN AFRICA. 37 

July 14th. — Early in the morning the caboceer 
agidn visited me^ to pay me the customary morning 
compliment, and in about an hour after he had 
retired breakfast was sent ready cooked, as 
usual, for myself and soldiers. After breakfast 
we walked round the town, which is of great 
beauty. From the quantities of fused iron-stone 
thrown indiscriminately amongst the immense 
blocks of granite, it would appear that the centre 
of the mountain had at some remote period been 
thrown up by some volcanic irruption. Zoglogbo 
forms the N.E. extreme of a range of mountains 
running N.E. and S.W. and is the highest of 
that range. The grain of the granite is much larger 
than that of most of the rocks of the other moun- 
tiuns. On the north-eastern extremity, and on 
the top of the rock, are several tanks nearly filled 
with water, for it is now the rainy season. These 
tanks are formed by nature, and are foimd to be of 
great advantage, both for the people and the cattle, 
which, to my great surprise, I found in and about 
the town, though the ascent from the plain is so 
difficult, that I was obliged to leave my horse at 
the bottom at one of the towns. The fracture, 
extending entirely across the mountain, forms two 
passes, adjoining which is a town on each side. 
I found upon inquiry, that a cow and bull had 



38 TRAVBLB IN 

been carried up into the mountain, and their off- 
spring preserved, and that only very lately they 
had begun to kill thenu The cattle live upon 
leaves and branches of different shrubs and stunted 
trees. 

After tvTSkm\n\f}g the town we went to the 
highest pinnacle of Zoglogbo, where we obtained 
a very pleasant view of the sorrounding country. 
At four miles distant, and bearing north-east, is 
seen the beautiful and gigantic block of granite, 
two thousand five hundred feet high, named Kpa- 
loko; and as &r as the eye can reach to the 
eastward are three mountains of a conical form, 
all of which are of the same shape and height. 
I asked the caboceer the name of these mountains, 
but he denied all knowledge of them, either by 
name or otherwise. I then asked several of my 
soldiers, fix>m whom I received a similar reply. 
It seemed to me very singular, that a man should 
live during his whole life so near any remark- 
able spot without knowing something of the place, 
or even its name; but from a communication I 
received from a Mahomedan priest at Abomey, I 
was convinced that the distant mountains were the 
Dabadab Mountains, from the resemblance of 
their shape to a dumpling made from the Indian 
corn-meal so called After measuring the height 



WB8TBBK AFRICA. 39 

by the boiUng-poiiit thermometer, we descended 
the rock, which was quite smooth on the slope, 
60 that it would be impossible for any person to 
keep his footing with shoes on. But my friend 
Kpatchie paid every attention to me, both during 
my aacent and descent, ordering one of his prin- 
(npal attendants to take one of my arms, while he 
himself took the other. 

The people here are, like all other Africans, 
very superstitious. When I was taking the bear-- 
ings of the diflFerent mountains, and measoring the 
distances, they seemed very uneasy, but as the 
King had given orders that I was to be permitted 
to use my own discretion in aU things, it was nse- 
less to object to anything I thought proper to do. 
After descending this steep mountain, we visited 
the principal market-place, where the caboceer 
had ordered two fine bullocks to be brought ; one of 
them I was to deliver to the King as a present, and 
the other was presented to myself; and the old 
caboceer forwarded both animals all the way to 
Abomey, to be there for me on my return. The 
manner in which they carry cattle is singular. 
They tie the feet of the animal together, and run 
a long palm pole between the legs, and thus carry 
the poor animals with their backs downwards, each 
end of the pole resting on the head of the c&tners. 



40 TRAVELS IK 

Six men are generally appointed to carry one 
bullock^ who relieve one another in turns. It 
would seem impossible^ to those unacquainted with 
African cattle^ for two men to carry one bullock; 
but it must be remembered that the African ox is 
very small in comparison with English oxen. 

The natives have no sympathy or feeling for the 
lower animals. They throw the animal down 
when they get tired, with its back on the rough 
gravel, so that if they have a long journey to per- 
form, the flesh is cut to the bone, and the death of 
the poor animal often ensues from such usage. 

After we had received the presents from the 
caboceer, several of the merchants from Abomey 
presented me with goats and fowls, which kind- 
ness I of course acknowledged by making pre- 
sents of some trifling articles of European manu- 
facture. We now got ourselves ready for our march 
to the town of Baflb, which is only a few miles 
distant; my excellent old friend, Kpatchie, and 
his whole retinue, with a guard of honour, accom- 
panying me. 

Our descent was by the fissure on the opposite 
side of the mountain to that which we had 
ascended, and was equally difficult. However, my 
friend kept dose to -me, rendering me every 
requisite assistance in our perilous descent. At the 



WESTERN AFRICA. 41 

foot of the mountain we entered another town of 
considerable size. Here I found my horse, which 
had been brought round to be in readiness for me. 
I remained some time in this town to ascertain 
their system of agriculture and their manufac- 
tures, which I found superior to any thing nearer 
the coast, except in Abomey and in Whydah. 
They consist of cloth, iron, knit nightcaps, mats, 
baskets, and a curious sort of girdle composed 
of different-coloured grasses, neatly fringed at each 
end, resembling the sashes worn by our infantry 
officers. All sorts of agricultural implements are 
also manufactured here in a superior style, as like* 
wise earthen pots and pipes. 

The northernmost of the four conical mountains 
I have mentioned measures from the top of Kpaloko 
18^ 7' towards N.E. when the observer is placed 
on the N.E. end of Zoglogbo, and Kpaloko bears 
N.E., distant by observation from Zoglogbo 12^ 
and the back bearing of Gbowelley S.E. Zog- 
logbo is much famed in the Mahee coimtry for 
having been the place of refuge for three moons 
of three kings, who led their combined armies to 
the plains of Paweea, where they were met by the 
Dahoman army, commanded by the King, who 
destroyed the whole of the combined armies of the 
kingdoms of Eyo, or Yarriba, and Annagoo, and a 



42 TRAVELS IN 

kingdom in the Mahee country in the adjoining 
Mountains of Kong. 

These three kings declared waragainst the King 
of Dahomey, and threatened also to make his 
head a balance to a distaff; but the army of 
Dahomey, being well armed with muskets, 
although much inferior in numbers, totally de* 
stroyed the combined armies ; and the three kings 
fled to Zoglogbo, where the Dahoman army fol- 
lowed ihem, and blockaded the passes, so that all 
supplies were entirely cut off, and in three moons 
the whole were compelled to surrender at discre*- 
tion. These three kings were beheaded, and their 
heads used for a similar purpose to that which 
they had threatened the King of Dahomey with. 

The head man of this town is Kpatchie's princi- 
pal attendant. Kpatchie is caboceer, or king, of all 
the towns and krooms in and round the mountain 
of Zoglogba The principal men's names in Zogr 
logbo are as follows : — 

1. Kpatchie.* 6. Dyenyho. 9. Dogano.f 

2. Bleedjado. 6. Doflou say Footoh. 10. Hapoflsay.t 

3. Annagoonoo. 7. Zayso ayarahoo. 11. Awenoo.§ 

4. Dawie. 8. Bayo Bozway. 12. Bokaya. 

18. Dogwhay, theOaboceer^B wife. 14. Adoo, the Caboceer's bob. 

* Caboceer. f Brother to the caboceer. 

X Commander-in-chief of the soldiers. 
I Second In comiQand of the soldiers. 



WS8TEBN AFBICA. 43 

12 P.SI. — ^We now contmued our inarch from 
this town to Baffo> bearing west from this place, 
and at three miles and a half arrived there. We 
were met about half way by the caboceer of Baffo 
and his principal wife, attended by a guard of ho- 
nour, some of whom were armed with bows and 
arrows, and others with muskets, with which they 
kept up a constant irregular fire the whole of the 
way as we passed along. The caboceer and his 
wife were covered with ornaments, principally of 
cowries, fized to leather, made of goatskin, and 
coloured blue and red, and about the width of 
the reins of a riding bridle, so that they were 
equipped similar to our Hussar officers' horses. 
Tlus caboceer is a very quick, active, and shrewd 
man; proud and foppish, moreover, and very jea- 
lous of my fine old friend, Kpatchie, who accom- 
panied me to Baffo. 

Shortly after our arrival in that town, we were, 
as usual, supplied with provision, ready cooked, 
to the amount of eighty dishes, composed of goats, 
pigs, and Guinea fowls. We were visited by the 
caboceer's principal wives, who drank each a glass 
of rum with us. This is customary with all 
visitors of note or rank, but they always drink 
water with each other first. My old friend 
Kpatchie remained with me till he got intox- 



44 TRAVELS m 

icated, when I advised him to return home, which 
recommendation he immediately adopted. 

In the evening I went out to observe the neigh- 
bourhood of the town, taking my gun with me, 
when, just after passing through the gates, a 
crow flew over us, which I shot. This caused 
great amusement, as the natives of this place 
are not expert with the gun. The crows are 
very large here, but of the same colour as the 
smaller ones on the coast, black, with white breast. 
In this place I observed several beautiftd birds, 
many of which were on their passage, for nearly 
all the tropical birds of Africa are migratory. 

We visited another small town^ about half a mile 
west of Baffo, very pleasantly situated at the foot 
of the steep mountain of Logbo, the rocks of 
which at a short distance appear to hang over the 
towD. The town of Baffo is similarly situated, 
and is ornamented with a great variety of trees 
of gigantic size. The highest of these are the 
silk cotton-trees; sycamore and a species of ash 
are also abundant here. The acacias are very 
large, and at this season in full blossom. Many 
beautiful parasitical plants hang from the large 
trees and rocks ; and the clematis and jessamine fill 
the air with their luxurious odour. A tree re- 
sembling the drooping ash is very abundant. 



WESTERN AFRICA. 45 

bearing a very delicious fruit, like a yellow plum, 
which hang in bunches very similar to the grape. 
The fruit is very deKcious, though there is very 
little flesh on the stone, which is porous, and 
yields to the bite of the teeth like a piece of cork, 
but 18 considerably harder. 

This is the first place in which I have yet been, 
since my journey commenced, which reminds me 
of my native country. Here, for the first time 
the large branches of the different trees are in 
gentle motion, caused by the considerable current 
of air or light wind passing along the steep moim- 
tain-side, forming a very agreeable contrast to what 
is nearly always experienced in Central Africa, by 
the suffocating, heated atmosphere, where no mo* 
tion is perceptible except during a tornado. I can- 
not express with what satisfaction and delight I 
sat me down on the end of a ruined wall of a 
hut, to embrace the luxury to which I had for 
many months been a stranger. Here solitude and 
loneliness even were pleasing. In my lonely re- 
verie, my recollections were carried unimpeded 
over wastes of waters back to my native land, 
and perhaps to happier days, before Care had 
ploughed her furrows on my brow. 

Here in this beautiful though lonely spot, I 
could not help thinking how much gratification 



46 TRAVELS m 

I should have felt had any of my old friends and 
associates in England been present, to whom I 
might have expressed my gratification. My poor 
servant Maurice was now getting worse, and 
obliged to lie down immediately he arrived at 
Baffo. 

I found the land well cultivated, and the crops 
very luxuriant. The Indian com here produces 
a crop four times in the year ; the Guinea corn, 
twice only. Fruits of various descriptions are 
also abundant ; tamarinds of two different species, 
the velvet tamarind and long pod, both grow in 
abundance: the yellow fig, of excellent flavour, 
and green grapes are also plentiful There are 
two species of cashu with fruit, much larger than 
I have seen on the coast. The kolla-nut is abun-* 
dant here, as also several species of the under-* 
ground nut, some about the size of a walnut. 

Cattle are of a superior breed here, being very 
square and clean in the legs, but very small. 
Sheep and goats are considerably more numerous 
than nearer the coast, but no horses are bred in 
this part of the country, consequently the natives 
were very timid in approaching my animal. 
The country around is well watered by some 
considerable streams, which run eastward. The 
waters are of different qualities, some streams 



WESTSBK AFRICA. 47 

being imf^regnated with iron^ others with magnesia. 
Pipe-clay is abundant in some of the valleys. 

After two hours' range in the neighbourhood of 
these two towns, I returned with my party and 
found the caboceer of the town awaiting us. He 
was, no doubt, anxious to taste again the contents 
of my liquor-case, which, unfortunately, was but 
scantily stored, as far as regards variety, but I had 
jdenty of the common American trade rum, which 
I brought with me from the coast. This is the 
only drink used by the natives, excepting peto. 

I gave the caboceer a good bumper or two, 
wliich he seemed to relish very much. He seemed 
extremely anxious to excel in politeness ; but he 
assumed a little too much civility to reconcile me 
to him as an honest man. However, I spent the 
evQping tolerably comfortable till a late hour, 
when we retired to rest. Maurice was still very 
ill, although the fever was subdued, but now diar- 
rhoea succeeded, and his spirits were very low ; I, 
therefore, made up my mind to remain a day 
or two till I should see whether any alteration 
took place in him. 

July 1 5th. — Early in the morning the caboceer 
came to pay his morning compliments and to drink 
a glass of rum previous to sending me breakfast. 
The old man seemed all in a bustle, this being the 



48 TRAVELS IN 

principal market-day in Bafib ; and he is allowed 
still to maintain an ancient custom^ which existed 
here previous to the subjection of the Mahee 
country, of monopolizing the whole trade of the 
place to himself. In consequence of this, he was 
busily employed in watching his young wives, who 
kept stalls, or hawked their goods in the market- 
place, many of whom I believe possessed very little 
personal interest in their divided spouse's profits, 
but, in order to render theft impracticable, he 
placed all his youngest wives in the most con- 
spicuous parts of the market-place, and himself 
occupied a position which commanded a view of 
the whole scene. The older or more trustworthy 
wives were permitted to use their own discretion 
as to their choice of carrying their goods round the 
different parts of the town. The principal or favou- 
rite wives dole out the portions of goods allotted to 
each individual to sell, but it often occurs that 
they are sold at even a higher price than de- 
signed by the owner, particularly when strangers 
are the purchasers. Of course the extra charge is 
appropriated by the individual seller. 

The articles sold in the market are much the 
same as those exposed for sale in Whydah, which I 
have previously enumerated, with the exception of 
European manufactured goods : these, however. 



WESTERN AFRICA. 49 

are very limited, tobacco and rum being the prin- 
cipal articles. In addition to these, I only ob- 
served a few very common plaid cotton hand- 
kerchiefs. Good cloth is manufactured here, and 
sold in the market, but manufacture even seems 
to be monopolized by the caboceer of Baffo, for, on 
my treating with a weaver for the purchase of a 
piece of cloth, he was obliged to consult the cabo- 
ceer whether he might dispose of it at the price I 
offered him, which, after some higgling, was 
agreed to. The whole of the inhabitants of this 
town are literally slaves, but live in peace and 
plenty ever since their subjection to the King of 
Dahomey. 

About eleven o'clock, my friend, Kpatchie, and 
his young Dahoman attendant, came again to 
visit me, bringing with him about thirty persons, 
carrying provisions for myself and people. This 
act of kindness proceeded, undoubtedly, from his 
own generosity, independent of the order of the 
King. The old gentleman seemed delighted at 
having an opportunity of testifying his good feel- 
ings towards a white man, but this kindness on 
his part seemed to create a considerable degree of 
jealousy between the two caboceers, Agassadoo 
and Kpatchie, so much so that high words ensued. 

Although no preparation was made for. our 

VOL. II. D 



50 TRAVELS IK 

dinner, for I had remdned at Bafib one day longer 
than was expected by the King, I was amused 
with the contemptuous manner exhibited towards 
Agassadoo by my venerable friend. He begged 
me not to rely on any of his (Agassadoo's) 
promises, as he was only a man of words, and 
of too much palaver to be good. This cer- 
tainly was correct, but the wordy war soon ter- 
minated, Kpatchie being senior, and principal 
caboceer of the range of mountains on which 
Baffo is situated. 

A reconciliation having been effected, I honoured 
ihem both by inviting them to dine with me, which 
was the first time I had ever done so since I had 
left Abomey. This seemed to give great satisfac- 
tion to both parties, and their differences seemed 
mutually forgotten. After dinner we went out 
shooting. I shot several birds of various descrip- 
tions on the top of the steep rock, which almost 
overhangs Baffo. I observed a great number of 
small animals, somewhat like the rabbits of Great 
Britain. When I expressed a great wish to 
ascend the pass, which is very steep and dangerous, 
I was strongly dissuaded from attempting it, 
it being declared to be quite impracticable, 
except to some of the most daring of the hunts- 
men. I was consequently obliged to satisfy 



WESTERN AFBICA. 51 

myself with remaining at the foot to pursue my 
sport. 

Game is very plentiM here> such as Guinea* 
fowl of various spedes^ some jet-black and 
very large, others of a lighter colour, some 
homed and others not. Partridges are large 
and abundant ; the male of one species is armed 
with four spurs, two upon each leg, nearly 
three-quarters of an inch apart, and in length 
according to their age. Pigeons of various sorts 
are also abundant, but the most numerous is the 
turtle-dove, which is here more domesticated than 
any other, except the common house-pigeon. The 
turtle-doves always take up their resting-place in 
towns or villages. The wood-pigeon is also abun- 
dant, but very wild. I observed another species, 
of a green and yeUow colour, with a red ring 
round the neck about half an inch in diameter, 
and without feathers, the surface much resembling 
morocco leather. The natives have a very effi- 
cient mode of trapping these pigeons. 

A little circumstance took place here, perhaps 
not unworthy of narration, respecting one of the 
last-named pigeons. This pigeon had been caught 
in a trap, and one of my young soldiers, anxious 
to elevate himself in my estimation, caught a 
pigeon, and, in order to make it appear that he 

d2 



52 TRAVELS IN 

had shot it^ destroyed part of the head before 
presenting it to me, but of course I was quite 
aware that this was not true. This was the same 
young man who had on a former occasion, as I 
have previously related, procured a Guinea-fowl, 
and made a hole through the neck, declaring that, 
although he always used ball, he shot his birds 
through the neck. I now set him a task which gave 
him a damper. Taking a small piece of white 
paper, wetting it, and sticking it on the side of a 
rock, at twenty yards distance, I asked him to 
shoot at that mark ; which he did, but it was no- 
where near the paper. This very much chagrined 
not only himself, but the whole of his companions, 
who declared that the bullet had tumbled out be- 
fore firing. I determined, however, to prove to him 
that it was not so easy a matter as he supposed to 
deceive an Englishman, and therefore gave him 
another chance, by shooting at the same piece of 
paper stuck against a palm-tree. This he also 
missed, as well as the tree. The caboceer seemed 
much annoyed lest I should consider the huntsman 
a fair specimen of their skill. He therefore desired 
me to shoot, thinking probably that I might be an 
equally bad shot ; but I was fortunate enough to 
hit part of the paper, and of course the bullet 
entered the tree, which created some considerable 



WESTERN AFRICA. 53 

surprise amongst the soldiers who accompanied 
me. 

Upon our return to the town we found a fine dog 
lying on the ground, apparently just killed. He 
was very much swollen, particularly one of his 
fore-legs. I made inquiry of the owner respect- 
ing the cause of its death, and was told that, while 
visiting his farm at some short distance on the 
plain, a large snake came in contact with the dog, 
and in the conflict bit the dog in the fore-arm. 
The venom caused death in about a quarter of an 
hour afterwards. The dog died within two hun- 
dred yards of its home. Serpents are said to be 
very mimerous and extremely venomous here, 
but I have not seen any of the. serpent tribe 
since I left Whydah. 

Upon my return to my quarters I found my 
servant Maurice apparently worse, and in very 
low spirits. He had hitherto expressed a wish 
not to be left, but to proceed with me on my 
journey. This, of course, in his present state, it 
would have been folly to allow him to do. I pro- 
posed, therefore, that if he were not much better 
in the morning, to leave him a few days, till I 
returned from the town of Whagba, for which 
place I intended to march. This the poor fel- 
low consented to. He was now suffering much 



54 TRAVELS IN 

from dysentery, and his illness had every ap- 
pearance of terminating fatally. 

In the evening I was visited by one of the cabo- 
ceer's wives, who was introduced to me as the 
principal cook, and who had presided at the 
cooking of my food. This, of course, was a very 
broad hint that I should not forget her when 
distributing presents. Several of the caboceer's 
younger wives, who seemed very anxious to 
flirt when an opportunity presented itself^ came 
to make inquiry after the health of my servant, 
but their real motive was to obtain a glass of rum, 
for they knew that I had arranged to depart on the 
following morning. The caboceer, Agassadoo, im- 
portuned for every thing that met his eye, though 
he took special care not to do so when the cabo- 
ceer or captain of my guard was present. 



WESTERN AFRICA. 55 



CHAPTER ni. 

The River Loto — JokAO Moontam — Jetta — Reception by the 
Cabooeer — Buins of the old Town of Epaloko — Its cnriouB 
Fonoation— ItB fonner Importanoe on account of its Mannfap- 
tares — Desolating Effects of War— Attachment of the Katives 
to particular Spots— Natural Tanks in the Mountains — Mount 

' Koliko — Precipitoua Granite Rock— Similarity to Scottish 
Scenery — The Nanamie — Laow, and the Laow Mountain-^ 
Kossieklanan Cascade — ^Tamargee Mountains — Mineral Spring 
— ^Mount Koglo— Insulting Conduct of the Caboceer — Whagba 
— Gaboceer*s Hospitality — The Town — Inhabitants — Kindness 
of Athrimy, the Caboceer of Teo— War-Dance — ^Drunkeimess 
— Names of the Caboceer^ &c — Qam&— Curious Pigeons — ^An 
Incident — ^Absurd Notion — Departure from Whagba — ^Names 
of the Caboceer, &c.-^Hospitality of the Cabooeers of Laow 
and Massey^-Beantifiil Y«Uey — ^Impregnable Position — ^Tbe 
Caboceer of Kpaloko — Grandeur of the Scene— Jeka Houssoo— 
The Dabadab Mountains — ^Difficulty in obtaining Information 
— ^Resolve to leave my Attendants — My Scheme— Departur^-^ 
Zafoora — Soil, Grain, Trees, Plants, kc — Shea-Butter used for 
Lamps. 

July 18th. — Early in the morning we got ready 

for our march to Whagba. I found my old fiiend \ 

Kpatchie waiting with an extra guard of one hun* 

dred men> and to my surprise found a number of ' 

the BafFo soldiers ready to escort me some distance 

from the town. We marched out with the i 

band playing one of the favourite Dahoman 



56 TRAYISLS IN 

urs, which seemed to me to have more of dis- 
cord than music about it. On passing the 
gates, the path bears NN.E. across a level 
plain. After two miles we crossed the river Loto, 
a fine clear stream, running east; and at two 
miles and a half, and one hundred yards to the 
right of the path, a spot was pointed out to me 
where the King of Dahomey and his army had 
encamped for the space of three months, during 
the war with the King of Kpaloko, who, after a 
siege which lasted all that time, was compelled to 
surrender at discretion. 

The plain here is well cultivated. Bearing east- 
ward, about eight miles distant, the mountain of 
Jokao is seen"; and on the left, about two miles 
and a half distant, is a large town, named Jetta, 
situated on a mountain of that name. At three 
miles and a half we were met by the caboceer 
of Jetta. We found him and his soldiers await- 
ing our arrival in a market-place, through which 
we had to pass. This market-place, like nearly 
all others, is shaded with large trees. The cabo- 
ceer received us with great courtesy, his guard 
keeping up an irregular fire of musketry. After 
the usual compliments between both parties, we 
were presented with plenty of provisions brought 
from their own town. Having refreshed ourselves. 



mm 



WESTERN AFRICA. 57 

I presented the caboceer and several of his head 
men with some trifling articles of hardware. Jetta 
is between the two mountains^ Jetta and Kpaloko. 
The longitudinal form of these mountains is north 
and south. 

At four miles, the path changing to east, we 
crossed a fine brook, named Awadakoo, the small 
tributary streams of which were strongly impreg- 
nated with iron. In the valley we found numerous 
blocks of pebbles combined together with iron. 
At five miles we passed through the ruins of the 
ancient town of Kpaloko, where the King was 
killed, as well as the King of Eyo, who succeeded 
the former king of that country, who had brought 
his army to the plains of Paweea, where his army 
was destroyed, as I have before mentioned. Kpa- 
loko is of very curious formation, being nearly per- 
pendicular at the sides, and the top like an acute 
arch. This mountain seems formed of a succession 
of concave scales, varying in thickness from twenty 
to thirty feet, and placed one upon another. These 
scales are formed of very hard granite of large 
grain. Several of these scales had parted near the 
centre of the top longitudinally, and slipped from 
their position down the side of the mountain, 
resting with their lower edges on the ground, and 
forming buttresses of five hundred feet long, and 
seventy feet high, leaving a space of about forty- 

d3 



K TBAYBLS m 

eight feet from the foot of the moimtain, or block, 
to the foot of the buttress. 

On examiDing the ruins of this liirge town, I 
found not one hut left stfmding, showing the sad 
and desolating effects of war. This place had 
once the character of being the greatest manu- 
facturing town in the kingdom of Mahee, extend- 
ing her commerce through nearly the whole of 
that country, as well as that of Anni^oo. [N'ow all 
was silent as death-— not a note or flutter even of 
any thing of the winged tribe was heard. The 
intense heat of the sun, without a breath of air, 
rendered the scene truly mout^iful and solitary. 
I could not help reflecting upon the natural attach- 
ment of the natives to particular spots, for although 
this town had been destroyed for years, the sur- 
viving natives still cultivated the gardens and the 
land formerly occupied by their ancestors and 
relatives. This circumstance is, however, little to 
be wondered at, for each house is invariably the 
family sepulchre, 

< The path now changed its bearing to N.E. 
Being the rainy season, the ground was very 
moist. And there are many good and perma- 
nent springs, whose streams run longitudinally 
with the mountain, from which the natives of the 
towns, now built on the top of the moimtain, 
receive their supplies when their tanks which 



<are formed by nature on the top of the moun- 
tain are exhausted. At six miles the path ran 
NN.E.^ with rock on both sides^ Mount Koliho, 
and the town of the same name^ being dose on 
our left. The oaboceer met us in the path with 
provision and water^ as well as some peto for 
our refreshment. 

After resting a quarter of an hour, we again 
proceeded on our march along the side of a smooth 
gi'anite rock, so much on the dip or incline that 
mjr horse could scarcely keep his footing, though 
he was very sure-footed. After passing about a 
quarter of a mile over this dangerous road, the 
path ran along a narrow and small stream of clear 
water, with pebbly bottom. This reminded me 
of some of my native glens, the haunts of my 
boyhood. The rich luxuriant shrubs and trees 
intermingled overhead, forming festoons, woven 
together by various running plants of the sweetest 
odour, rendered this part of the path truly delight- 
ful and refreshing. 

At seven miles the path changed to N. 60° W., 
iand we crossed a rapid stream, named Nanamie, 
running N. At seven miles and a half we passed 
over a granite mountain, with good spring wells 
on the top. At eight miles the valley became 
narrow, with high mountains on each side of the 
•path. The mountain on the left is named Laow, 



60 TRAVELS IN 

tiB is also the town. The caboceer^ with his 
attendants and soldiers^ met us in the path, 
with plenty of provisions and water, as well 
as rum, of which my people drank very freely. 
Having presented this caboceer with some trinkets 
and a flask of rum, we resumed our journey. 
The character of this mountain differs consider- 
ably from those in the neighbourhood, being 
divided into different sections of various thick- 
ness and strata, running N.E. and S.W., at^ dip 
of 12'* towards E. by S. 

At eight miles and a half, NN. W., and at nine 
miles, NN.E., I noticed a fine brook and cascade, 
running south, named Kossieklanan ; and on the 
east side, I observed a mountain, named Tamar- 
gee,-0f considerable magnitude. Here the palm 
and shea butter-tree grow in great abundance, but 
the butter-trees have all undergone the operation 
of scorching. At ten miles and a half I observed 
a chain of mountains, running north and south, 
iistant from the path two miles ; the northernmost 
d( these is named Sawee. 

On these mountains is a sort of yellow and 
/ery fine grass, equal to the finest needles, and 
about two feet high, growing in tufts similar to 
rushes. It appears at a distance as if the herbage 
wen entirely scorched, being about the colour of 
yellow ochre. A shrub of the same colour 



WESTERN AFRICA. 61 

grows here, about ten feet high, with leaves 
placed on the tree very similarly to our box, but 
about three times the length. 

At twelve miles and a half, and distant from the 
path two miles to the right, are the mountains 
Lofo and Apakissa; and at thirteen miles, a moun- 
tain, named Bowha, close on the right of the path. 
Here is in the path a very fine spring, at the tem- 
perature of 62% the water quite clear and less 
impregnated with iron than most others. 

At fifteen miles Mount Koglo rose before us, 
eighteen hundred feet high, close to the left of the 
path, with a very large town on the top. Here 
we were not met by the caboceer or any of 
his people, as in other towns belonging to the 
King of Dahomey, but found they had been 
making bad fetish, as the natives term it, in the 
path. They had killed a white fowl and filled 
an earthen pot with palm-oil and some other 
composition, sticking the feathers into this 
composition and placing the pot in the path. 
This is considered by them to be one of the 
greatest insults which can be offered. However, 
I endeavoured to convince them that their bad 
fetish was of no avail. Still my people seemed 
rather alarmed in passing it, turning some distance 
out of the path. 



62 TRATBL8 IK 

A little farther on, we came to a market-plaee, 
attended only by some few women boUh^ peto ; 
but as these people were from the town of Koglo, 
the caboceer gave strict injunctions that none 
of our party should purchade anything. A 
messenger was immediately despatched to Abo- 
mey to inform the King of the conduct of the 
caboceer of Koglo^ who, no doubt, will pay dearly 
for his bad fetish to the King's stranger; they 
are sure to be invaded next year. They were 
drfe.«d 0^ j^. but ».« di. period Jc*,. 
ceer died, and his successor denies his allegiance 
to the King of Dahomey ; but he will no doubt 
be glad to succumb, after a severe chastisement. 
At seventeen miles we came upon a brook named 
Lothay, running east, and a fine extensive plain 
to the eastward. 

At twenty miles we reached the beautiful town 
of Whagba. About a mile and a half from l^e 
town we were met by the fine venerable caboceer 
and his attendants, who paid us every mark of re- 
spect, and drank water and then rum with us, his 
soldiers keeping up a continual fire, and beating 
their drums the whole distance into the town. 
The town of Whagba is fenced round with the 
prickly bush, which forms a hedge of about twenty 
yards wide. After passing through this outer 



■HVUHP 



WESTERN AFBICA. 63 

fence^ and about one hundred yacrds diet^jit, is 
another waU^ with strong gates, outside of which 
is IJie general market-place for strangers. Ipi- 
meidiately inside is the principal tpwn-market, 
which is held twice every week. Inside is another 
wall of hard clay, or swish^ with still stronger 
gates. Upon entering the town I was met by 
ten of the trading merchants from Abomey^ who 
gave me a hearty welcome. 

The natives of this town seem a very mild and are 
apparently a more independent people, being less 
servile to their caboceer, than in any of the Mahee 
towns I have yet visited, although the caboceer 
seems much revered and esteemed. In the town 
I found excellent accommodation, the caboceer 
having some time previously to my arrival been 
made aware of my intention to visit him, con- 
sequently no trouble was spared to make me 
comfortable when I arrived. A fine house had 
been run up in the space of a fortnight for my 
accommodation, built square, and of two stories, 
with a ladder outside to ascend to the second 
story, quite unusual in any other towns except 
Abomey. The walls were yet a little damp^ 
though the heat is so great. 

Soon after my arrival, we were, as usual, sup- 
plied with plenty of provisions and also abundance 
of peto. After having refreshed ourselves, we 



64 TRAVELS IN 

were honoured by a visit from the caboceer and 
his retinue, with whom we entered freely into 
conversation. It appeared that he was a great 
favourite with the King of Dahomey, consequently 
he was vested with considerable power beyond 
what is generally allowed to any of the caboceers 
I had yet visited, except Kpatchie, of Zoglogbo. 
The caboceer of Whagba was like a petty king or 
ruler over several minor towns in the neighbour- 
hood, within a circle of twenty miles. He was 
also allowed to govern his town at his own 
discretion as far as regards their domestic laws 
or customs, but their criminal laws were strictly 
Dahoman. 

Sunday, July 20th. — A caboceer arrived from 
a town named Teo, at some distance from 
Whagba, named Athrimy. He brought several 
people with him, both head men and slaves, and 
with them about ten bushels of ready cooked 
provisions, and also one fine bull for the King of 
Dahomey, and another for myself. The caboceer, 
Athrimy, seemed much gratified in having an 
opportunity of shewing his loyalty to his sovereign 
by presenting me, the King's stranger, and my 
people, with provisions gratis ; although, of course, 
I gave them several articles of European manu- 
facture in return. 

This caboceer, as well as the ruler of Whagba, 



■p 



WESTERN AFRICA. .65 

.seemed to take great pleasure in making in- 
quiries respecting England, our gracious sove- 
reign, and our laws. They remained in conver- 
sation with me full three hours, their principal 
men being also present. Both of them seemed 
amused and astonished. After our palaver was 
finished, the guard of soldiers who accompanied 
Athrimy, musketeers and bowmen, all com- 
menced their native war-dance. Then my Daho- 
man guards performed their dance. Afterwards, 
as is customary on such occasions, I presented 
the caboceers and head men with some rum, which 
art all times is very readily accepted ; although in 
Dahomey a drunkard is much despised, and even 
punished, unless the party should be one of the 
King's jesters, of whom his Majesty keeps a con- 
siderable number. 

Many of the caboceers in the Mahee country, 
as well as on the coast, consider the greatest 
proof of their riches and power to consist in their 
having the means of getting intoxicated at least 
once every day. The caboceer Athrimy had 
heard of my entering the names of some of the 
caboceers and head men of Dahomey in my book, 
and requested, as a great favour, that his own 
name and those of his head men might be inserted 
in my book, deeming this to be the highest honour 



66 TRAVELS IN 

which could possibly be conferred upon them. As 
the enumeration of the names^ therefore, may be 
of service to future travellers (since nothing will 
secure the confidence and friendship of these 
Africans more surely than the fact of a stranger 
visiting their country and inquiring for any of 
them), I here set them down. 

After entering the names of the principals they 
determined upon giving me a puzzler, by desiring 
me to call the roll of the names I had already 
entered, and when each name had been called, 
and each individual had answered to his name, 
they all seemed quite amazed, expressing their 
conviction that white man was equal to their 
great fetish in knowledge and power. Their 
names were as follows : — 

1. Epaloo. 5. Koothaj. 9. Koyakvaj. 

2. Damossee. 6. Bosa. 10. Dadamy.* 

3. Eawpnhoo. 7. Eossan Maboo. 11. Baadoo. 

4. ChasBoo. 8. Semanoo. 12. Dyahoo. 

13. Wayhee, the caboceer*B principal or favourite wife. 

Soon afler this ceremony my friends departed, 
returning me a thousand thanks for the presents 
which I had given them, and hoping that I would 
soon again visit their country. 

* Commander-in-chief of the militia. 



^SSTEBN AFRICA. 67 

I then went out to yisit the yarious krooms 
in the yicinit j of Whagba^ which were numerous. 
I, took my gun with me, as partridges are very 
plentiful here, and very large. My people were 
very much delighted at seeing me shoot the first 
one flying. The body of the partridge is nearly 
as heavy as the English pheasant. The turtle- 
dove is also abundant here, as also the wood- 
pigeon (exactly similar to those in England,) and 
the house-pigeon. Many other sorts of pigeons 
are also found here of various plumage — ^green 
body, yellow and blueish green wings, with a 
red circle round the eyes. The crown-bird is 
here domesticated, and the] vulture and eagle are 
also abundant, as well as several other birds of 
prey. I here observed several bulbous plants, 
bearing a beautiful flower, not before noticed in 
my travels. 

An incident took place during my absence, 
which, although absurd, may be worthy of notice 
here, since it serves to show the ridiculous ideas 
and manners of the natives. During my tempo- 
rary absence from the town, the man who had 
charge of my horse had been persuaded to accept 
a bribe &om the caboceer to allow my horse, 
which was entire, to serve a very handsome mare, 
presented to the caboceer by the King of Dahomey. 



68 TRAVELS IN 

As soon as the mare was brought near my horse, 
he became unruly and broke from his fastening, 
and by some means tore or pulled off one of his 
shoes. This caused me to inquire by what means 
it occurred, believing that some of my people 
had been beating it, but every one denied all 
knowledge of the shoe being off. I then declared 
that I would punish the man in charge of my 
horse for neglect of duty, knowing that if he were 
at his post he must be aware by what means my 
horse had lost his shoe. This threat had the de- 
sired effect, and the man openly confessed that he 
had been tempted by the reward of one head of 
cowries,* (which at this place is forty- seven 
strings, each string containing thirty-three cow- 
ries,) or one dollar, (in this part of the country 
of more value than five sovereigns would be in 
England,) to allow it, although it is believed 
amongst these uncivilized beings that he is thus 
entirely spoiled during the rest of his life, and is 
rendered quite unfit to carry a rider after. This 
shows plainly the absence of principle, for this 
man who had charge of my horse was a captured 
slave, and had received a good education at the 
government school at Sierra Leone ; but passion 

* After proceeding some diBtance into the interior the cowrie 
increases in value. 



WESTERN AFRICA. 69 

BO far overcame principle, that for one dollar he 
would sacrifice my horse. 

The caboceer, who was soon made aware of my 
having learned all the facts of the case, became 
alarmed, naturally supposing that I should feel 
much annoyed at such conduct, and dreading lest 
I should make the case known to the King of 
Dahomey. He was so much alarmed, indeed, 
that he would not venture into my presence during 
the whole of the afternoon, but several of his mes- 
sengers visited me, requesting to know if I had 
every thing I wanted, and informing me that it 
was their master's wish I should -be furnished 
with any thing I might require. In the evening 
the caboceer and several of his head men and 
principal wives, and also several of his daughters, 
ventured to visit me. Upon approaching me, the 
old man in front, the whole party prostrated them- 
selves on the ground, throwing dust over their 
heads and shoulders, until I had assured the cabo- 
ceer of my forgiveness, at the same time telling 
him that had he asked me, he should have been 
welcome to the use of my horse. I also remon- 
strated with him upon the absurd notion enter- 
tained by them. To my no small surprise, the old 
man presented me with his youngest daughter 
for a wife, who was a mulatto, telling me she 



70 TRAVEL8 IN 

would be useful to wash my clothes. Upon my 
declining his offer^ the old man seemed rather 
offended, until I informed him that a6 Afri- 
can wives were considered by their husbands to 
be also their slaves, I could not, without a breach 
of the laws of my own country, accept his 
offer. I told him, however, that I should make 
my proffered wife a present of a few smaD cotton 
handkerchiefs, and when I again passed through 
his country I should call for his daughter. This 
reconciled the old man, and I believe gave his 
favourite child much more satisfaction than leav- 
ing for ever her home to become a white man's 
slave. 

The old man furnished myself and people with 
an excellent supper and plenty of peto. I in- 
vited him to spend the evening with me, and 
partake of a glass of grog, which he very willingly 
accepted, and we parted for the night the best of 
friends. 

July 21st. — Early in the morning, a messenger 
came to my house to inquire after my health, and 
about an hour afterwards an excellent breakfast 
was sent for myself and people. I had to put on 
the cast shoe on my horse, which was a difficult 
task, as I had not proper nails, and the hoofs of 
the African horses are so hard that a nail can 



WESTEBN AFBICA, 71 

scarcely be driven without the assistance of a 
brad-awl. Fortunately, however, I had a few 
common nsdls and a shoemaker's hammer, so that 
by beating the nails a little thinner^ and using the 
awl, I managed to fix the shoe, and prepared for 
my journey back to Baflfo. The caboceer had 
ordered all his soldiers to prepare to accompany 
me as a sort of convoy out of the town. 

All being arranged, the old man, and his nu- 
merous family and principal people, led the pro- 
cession, and we passed out of the gates of the town, 
when immediately a running fire waa commenced 
by the soldiers of Whagba. After accompanying 
me about a mile, the old man signified his inten- 
tion of returning, and coming close to my horse 
he prostrated himself and bade me farewell ; but I 
begged that he would dispense with such humilia- 
tion, assuring him that a white man did not 
require it. He expressed his high sense of the 
honour conferred upon him by the King sending his 
white stranger to visit him. He said he had heard 
there were white people, but never expected to see 
one, but hoped that I would soon again return, 
assuring me that my new bride should be waiting 
for me whenever I came back, and that every 
comfort should be furnished me, free of expense, 
whenever I might visit his country. We then 



72 



TRAVELS IN 



shook hands and parted^ the old caboceer with 
tears in his eyes. 

I forgot to mention the names of the caboceer 
and head-men of Whagba ;♦ they are as follow — 



Caboceer^B name . 


. Agoa. 


Fifth Head-man . . Bow. 


First Head-man . 


. Cantra. 


Sixth do. . . Baja. 


Second do. 


. Bossa. 


Seventh do. . . Wynho. 


Third do. 


. Bansa. 


Eighth do. . . Haigh, 


Fourth do. 


. Whyo. 


Commander-in-chief. 



Head-women's names — Wossee, Agwbydhe. 

On my return to BafFo we proceeded by the side 
of the mountain of Kpaloko opposite to that we 
passed before, consequently we visited other parties 
to those we had met on my journey to Whagba. 
The first was the caboceer of Mount Laow, whose 
name was Minakoko. On my return I found 
him on the side of the path, with a number of his 
head men, and carriers with provisions, in all twenty- 
five large calabashes full together with a fine 
young bull. The caboceer of Massey also met ma 
at the same place, presenting me with the same 
quantity of provisions as the above, which were 
more than we could all devour. After marching 
about two miles in a beautiful valley, well watered 

* Matcholee, one of the principal men of Whagba, was selected 
as one of the most intelligent men in the Mahee country, and 
summoned to Abomey to be my guide through that country. 



WESTERN AFRICA. 73 

iMicl cultivated, with Kpaloko oh one side and 
Mount Laow on the other, as well as other moun- 
tains equally steep and difficult of access, we 
were again met by the caboceer of a town on the 
side of Moimt Laow named Filaly, with fifty-five 
calabashes of provision, in all about twenty bushels; 
he also presented me with a very fine buU, 
and the caboceer of my guard with two goats* 
Kodeko-Sedgenakaw was his name, and he was 
one of the instances of surnames. 

In passing this valley of several miles in 
length, and of three quarters of a mile in breadth, 
I could not help observing its natural defences 
as a military position. On our left was Kpa- 
loko, whose steep sides are totally inaccessible, 
and Mount Laow, running parallel on the opposite 
side of the valley, equally steep and inaccessible, 
although not so high. Supposing this valley were 
walled across (which is narrow at each end) with 
batteries on the top, and properly armed, a disci- 
plined army might, with proper resources, defy any 
number of enemies. The valley is composed of 
excellent soil, and rears annually four crops of the 
small red Indian corn. This sort, I believe, would 
grow in our British isles; and, with other ve- 
getables, which grow with equal rapidity, would 
support an army constantly, capable of defending 

VOL II. E 



74 TRAVELS DC 

it during any siege, however prolonged. It lias 
numerous springs, besides a considerable stream, 
which passes along in a serpentine course. 

After reaching the end of this interesting valley, 
we were met at the market-place on the side of 
the path, under some large trees, by the caboceer 
of Kpaloko, who presented me with thirty-nine 
calabashes of provision and a fine bull. His 
name was Janko. While resting under the shade 
of the ^gantic trees I could not help looking 
back with wonder on the singular work of the 
Supreme Ruler of Nature. The immense blocks, 
which might well be called mountains of granite, 
we had passed, thrown together in a confused mass 
or heap, overhanging the valley in awful grandeur, 
presented certainly the most interesting scene of 
the kind I had ever witnessed. This caboceer was 
very communicatiye and intelligent, and, I learnt, 
was much loved and respected by his people. 

After resting about an hour, and distributing 
some presents, as I had done to all the caboceers 
and head men on my journey, we marched on our 
return for Baffo, which we reached in the evening, 
where I again took up my old quarters. 

July 22d. — ^Early in the morning, Jeka Hou- 
soo, caboceer of Mount Joko, came all the way to 
Baffo, with twenty-two calabashes of provisions 



WESTERN AFRICA. 75 

for my breakfast. I had now made up my mind 
to remain at Baffo, and explore the neighbourhood 
of this romantic place, and, if possible, to ascertain 
the name of the mountains already mentioned 
in my Journal. They appeared to me to be 
the same as those described by the old Maho- 
medan priest, (who paid me several private visits, 
according to the custom at Abomey,) as the Dab- 
a-dab* mountains, where I should find Terrasso- 
weea, another Mahomedan priest, who was living 
in Yaouri, and present at the murder of Mungo 
Park, and who would be able to give me every 
information I might require respecting the melan- 
choly fate of that unfortunate traveller. • All 
mj inquiries, however, were in vain. When I 
asked any person unconnected with my own party, 
their answer uniformly was, that they did not 
know the name of these mountains; they could 
only just perceive them in the distance ; that they 
were too far away to know their name ; and that 
I must ask my own caboceer. 

I had already found out that orders had been 
given by the King that no person, who was not 
quite acquainted with any subject I might require 
information upon, was to pretend to answer any 

* Bababab is, as I have already mentioned, a sort of dumpling, 
made without fat, composed of the meal of the Indian corn. 

E 2 



76 TRAVELS m 

inquiries. But even mj own caboceer pretended 
ignorance of the name of these mountains. I 
therefore determined to steal a march, if pos- 
sible, from my guard of soldiers, although I was 
aware it would be attended with difficulty as well 
as hazard to mjself and those who accompanied 
me. I went out and returned again frequently 
during the day, from short shooting excursions, 
till the caboceer of my guard considered a few 
men sufficient to attend me during these ram- 
bles in the neighbourhood. This was just what I 
was idming at. When I found my object so far 
attained, I called my own private servants, Thomas 
and John, and told them of my intention to visit 
the distant mountains I had that day been observ- 
ing through my telescope, informing them that 
these mountains were, beyond a doubt, the same 
as those described by the old priest at Abomey 
as the place where we should find Terrasso-weea. 

They were, they said, of the same opinion ; 
but when I again told them of my intention to 
visit those mountains, they pointed out many ob- 
jections, some of which were not unreasonable. 
They were aware of the strict injunctions of the 
King to my guard respecting my safety and re- 
turn to Abomey, and also that the captain, or cabo- 
ceer, of my guard was responsible by his head for 



WESTERN AFRICA. 77 

my safe return ; they moreover observed, that if 
we entered the territory of another prince with an 
;irmed force, it would place us in danger* Still 
I persevered in my intention of proceeding, and 
told them I would make each of them a present of 
a handsome piece of cloth, over and above their 
pay, upon my return, if they would accompa^ny 
me. This was to them a tempting offer for one 
day's journey (as we then supposed). They 
promised to keep all quiet, and agreed to my 
arrangement. I told them that I would go out 
early in the morning, as if on a shooting excur- 
sion, and directed them to bring with them 
one head of cowries, and a small box, contain- 
ing a few clasp knives and some small scissors, 
Jew's harps, needles, and thimbles. With these 
few articles we went out to shoot; and as I 
generally shot off my horse's back, no suspicion 
of my intentions was evinced by any of the rest 
of my party. 

It fortunately happened, that early on this morn- 
ing the caboceer from Mount Awya, whose name 
is Cassoo, had brought us plenty of provision and 
live-stock, namely, a goat, a fowl, some yams, 
and five strings of cowries, so that I had an 
opportunity of leaving when the soldiers were at 
breakfast Only three soldiers accompanied me. 



78 TBATEL8 DT 

one of whom happened to be a FeOattah. After we 
had gone about fiye nules, and I not vpfCMnB^ to 
notice the different birds, mj attendants pcnnted 
out to me the palm and shea butter nut trees as 
we passed, and appeared to become uneasj^, Isoadly 
hinting that it was now time to return. However, 
I was determined not to let the present oppor- 
tunity slip, but at once told them that I intended 
to visit a friend who was at present trading in 
a town close at the foot of the distant high 
mountains. 

The path bore (true) North 50* towards East 
The land is level and rich loam, and well watered 
from chalky or pipe-clay springs. After leaving 
Bflffo a few miles, nothing of cultivation shows 
itself till within a few miles of the town of 
Zafoora, where the soil is well cultivated, and 
crops of maize and Guinea com are abundant; 
yams and manioc are also plentiful. Palm-nuts 
and ground nuts also abound; and here the shea- 
butter is in common use for burning in their 
lamps, which are of a very simple construction, 
being merely a shallow earthen vessel in the shape 
of a saucer* Their method of trimming their lamps 
is as simple as the construction of the lamp itself: 
a piece of wick is twisted from the native cotton 
which is abundant here, and coiled up in llie vessel. 



WESTERN AFRICA. 79 

then a quantity of the shea butter, about the con- 
sistence of hog's-lard, is pressed into the lamp, on 
the top of the wick. The lamp thus trimmed is 
placed in a small niche, several of which are 
left in the wall when the house is built. As 
the heat of the lighted wick approaches, the 
butter melts into a liquid like oil, and bums 
extremely clear, without any unpleasant smell. 



80 TRAVELS IN 



CHAPTER IV. 

Zafoora— Terror of the Natives — Cold Keception by the King— 
My Disappointment— Exorbitant Charge — Unpleasant Posi- 
tion — Palaver with the King — Scene of the Defeat of the 
Dahomans — Inhospitality — The Shea-bntter, and other Trees 
— The Gwbasso— Prevalent Diseases — Soil — The Velvet 
Tamarind — Wearisome Journey — Akwaba— Cold Beception 
by the '^Caboceer — His Disappointment — Slave Trade — Hard 
Bargain — Manufacture of Indigo— Hardware — The Ziffii — 
King Chosee and his Cavalry — Their Hostile Attitude — Mo- 
ment of Danger — EesuH of a Firm Demeanour— Respect 
shewn by the King and Natives — Enter Eoma with a Band of 
Music — Kind Reception — Introduction to the King's Wives — 
Palaver with the King — The Niger known here as the Joleeba 
— Presents to the King— Babakanda — ^Exorbitant Charges for 
P*rovisions — Manufactures — Ginger, Rice, &c. — Seka — Bustle 
of the Caboceer — Slave-Market — Trade Monopolized by the 
Caboceer — The Kolla-nut — Honey — Peto— Palaver with the 
Caboceer — Soil— Assofoodah — Hostile Reception — Palaver — 
Ridiculous Confusion — Inhospitality. 

Upon my near approach to the town of Zafoora, 
the people employed in the fields appeared, but 
fled from their employment, halting at short 
intervals and looking backward, like startled 
cattle. However, as we came nearer to the 
entrance of the town, they seemed more bold 
and awaited our approach. A messenger on the 
look-out had doubtless informed the caboceer 



WESTERN AFRICA. 81 

or king of our approach, and he had sent a mes- 
senger or head man to inquire what we wanted, 
from whence we came, and if we bore any 
message or presents for him; but my reply was, 
that I merely came to see himself. I remained 
outside the inner gate till the messenger returned, 
who was detained some time. My people now 
showed some symptoms of alarm, and we found by 
experience that we were not under the protection 
of the good King of Dahomey. No ready-cooked 
provisions, no prostrations, or cheerful welcome, 
but all looked curiosity and suspicion. At length 
the messenger returned, informing us that the 
King would shortly be ready to receive us. Ac- 
cordingly, in about a quarter of an hour after- 
w^ards, he made his appearance, surrounded by his 
head men and soldiers. The soldiers, who were 
bowmen and spearmen, exhibited the most singular 
gestures as they approached till within a few 
paces, when the whole party halted. The King in 
person then desired to know if it were himself 
I wanted. During this inquiry he eyed me with 
apparent doubt or suspicion, I told him I hoped 
I saw him well and happy, but I had another 
object in view besides coming to see him, which 
was to visit a merchant, a Mahomedan fetish-man, 
named Terrasso-weea. 
As soon as I mentioned this man, the King, as if 

£3 



82 TRAVELS IN 

aroused from stupor, was all politeness and con- 
descension ; but to my great disappointment and 
dismay, I was informed that my friend had left 
that town, after a long sojourn, for one at a great 
distance in the interior. This seemed almost like 
a death-blow to me, and I could also observe that 
my people were much disheartened, as well as foot- 
sore and tired. My poor fellows were glad to lie 
down, and my little horse seemed a little tired, 
although I had walked some considerable distance. 
I had travelled forty-four miles, almost without 
halting. Concealing as much as possible my 
disappointment, I began to make some inquiry 
where I could purchase some fowls. The King 
immediately ordered some to be brought, from 
which I selected two, but was astonished when, 
upon asking the price, I was told twelve strings 
of cowries for each fowl. This was an exorbi- 
tant charge, as the selling price amongst each 
other is l^d. ; however, I was obliged to comply 
with the extortion, although I had only one head 
of cowries with me, not expecting to be absent 
more than a day. It is true I had some articles 
of hardware, but although they would greedily 
have accepted them as presents, yet money — 
money seemed to speak their language better than 
any thing else, as in fact it does in all countries. 
This circumstance was rather a damper upon a 



WESTERN AFRICA. 83 

private scheme 1 had then in contemplation. During 
the time our meal was being cooked, which was 
both our dinner and supper, I made inquiry how 
far distant the place was to which the merchant 
had gone, and was informed that, supposing I com- 
menced my journeys every morning before the rising 
of the sun, and walked fast, without stopping to 
eat till the sun was gone out of sight, I should reach 
the place in eight or nine days at farthest. One 
man said he had once been with this Mahomedan 
priest, and returned from Adafoodia in seven days. 
I was informed by the King of Zafoora, that the 
merchant had a white man in his company. This 
information was a stimulus to my determination 
to pursue my object of obtaining information. 
The white man I conjectured must have been a 
man named Bell, who had obtained a free passage 
from England to Fernando Po, whence he said he 
intended to proceed up the Niger to the confluence 
of the Shadda, thence up that river to the lake 
Shad, and there remain three years. This I 
was told on the coast, but from what I had already 
experienced of the African climate, I feared that his 
calculations were too extravagant, still I could come 
to no other conclusion than that the white man 
spoken of by the King must be the same. 

I now began to reflect upon my present position. 
First, I had left my guard in a clandestine manner. 



84 TRAVBLS IK 

and in all probability I might be the means of an 
excellent man (mj caboceer) losing his head. 
Next, I might incur the displeasure of the Bang of 
Dahomey, who had been my real friend; and, 
lastly, I might probably sacrifice those who accom- 
panied me. I had, however, already made a seri- 
ous breach, and I determined to proceed at all 
hazards, resolving to send the weakest of my three 
soldiers back to Baffo, to inform the caboceer of 
my guard that my friend had gone on a few days' 
journey, accompanied by a countryman whom I 
was anxious to see, and desired him to make him- 
self easy till my return, which would be as soon as 
possible. 

The King of Zafoora entered into a lengthened 
inquiry respecting the Dahomans, but I dared not 
acknowledge the patronage of the King of Dahomey, 
nor yet let him know that the soldiers accompanying 
me belonged to him, otherwise I might have been 
deemed a spy. It was now that I learned the rea- 
son the Dahomans would not know the name of the 
Dabadab Mountains. Many years ago the Daho- 
mans besieged those mountains ; but after remain- 
ing near their foot, and suffering much from small- 
pox and fever, which they deemed to proceed from 
the vengeance of their own fetish, they raised 
their unsuccessful siege, and those who survived 
returned in shame to Abomey ; upon which a pro- 



WESTERN AFRICA. 85* 

clamation ;wa8 issued that the name of these moun- 
tains should never again be mentioned, or the 
small-pox, as that disease is very much dreaded on 
the whole of the west coast, as well as in the interior, 
I was glad when the King ceased his inquiries, for 
toy people required rest as Avell as myself. We 
were allowed to remain in this hut during the night 
with my horse tied up outside. One fowl was re- 
served for our breakfast in the morning — ^rather a 
scanty allowance for all of us ; but we had stored 
our havresacks pretty well with heads of corn, 
which was nearly ripe at this season, and very 
sweet. Although the caboceer, after my in- 
quiry respecting Terrasso-weea, appeared tole- 
rably friendly, and eager to receive any little 
article as a present, he never offered me anything 
in return. 

July 24th. — Early In the morning we com- 
menced our journey, having made a hurried and 
rather scanty breakfast. One of my soldiers re- 
turning to Baffo, I had now only four persons 
besides myself. The path bore N. 35° W. vary- 
ing to N. 10** W. and N. 15'* W. (true) 
bearing. The country was level and well watered, 
open and studded with small clumps of bushes 
and shea butter- trees as well as palm. On the 
plain I observed many large sycamore-trees, with 
very large leaves, and the bark rather more rough 



< 



i 



86 TRAVELS IN ' 

than those in England. The acacia is also very 
abundant in this neighbourhood. At six miles we 
reached the river Gwbasso, which is of consider* 
able magnitude, being twenty yards wide, and 
twelve feet deep. The banks were nearly level 
with the water, the river running eastward at 
the rate of three miles per hour. It abounds with 
alligators of great size, as well as hippopotamL 

Little of interest occurred during this day's 
journey : we only passed a few miserable krooms, 
where kankie and water were sold to travellers, 
each kroom growing merely enough of com to 
supply their own wants. Small-pox and yaws 
seemed to have made great havoc amongst the na- 
tives ; probably, on that account, intercourse with 
their neighbours was strictly forbidden. 

At about twenty miles, we halted by the side 
of a small rivulet, running eastward. It had 
cut a deep channel in the soil, which was at this 
place red and crumbly, resembling that in the 
vicinity of our copper-mines in England. On 
the banks were numerous shrubs and brambles, 
and plenty of the velvet-tamarind trees. Here 
we lighted a fire under the shade of one of these 
last-mentioned trees, where we had a glorious feast 
upon roasted com ; but my little horse relished the 
the com very well without taking the trouble to 
roast it. 



WESTERN AFRICA. 87 

We remained about an hour and a half, when 
we resumed our journey, my men complaining of 
the soreness of their feet, for the road was now 
very rough with red pebbles, which bruise^ them 
very much. After a tiresome journey of thirty- 
one miles, we arrived at the town of Akwaba. 
Here we were obliged to wait a considerable 
time before we could be admitted into the inner 
gates of the town, the caboceer having to or- 
nament himself previous to making his appear- 
ance; and here also the caboceer received us 
rather coolly, seeming to be very anxious to 
know my object in coming to visit his country. 
I was aware that it was of no use to explain that 
I came with scientific views, so I told him I 
came to see himself and my friend, (as I called 
him,) Terrasso-weea. This name seemed to gain 
me welcome every where, and I foimd it very 
convenient. We were invited into the market- 
place to make our palaver, and some water was 
handed us to drink. This pleased me and my 
people much, as we were aware that this was the 
truest mark of their friendship ; but they offered 
us nothing to eat, although I can answer, the 
packman 8 drouth was at that moment most press- 
inff>* However, we were obliged to submit to 
a great many idle questions, respecting white men's 

* In Scotland^ the "packman's drouth" is-hungerfor food. 



88 TRAVELS m 

countiy, and also respecting the Dahoman country, 
which they seemed to dread much, and exclaimed 
much against the Dahomans for not allowing guns 
and other articles of trade to pass through into 
the Fellattah country. 

The caboceer seemed much disappointed when 
he found, upon inquiry, that I was not come to pur- 
chase slaves, informing me that he had got plenty 
to supply me with at a very cheap rate. He said 
he could conceive no other motive for white man 
coming to black man's country, unless to trade in 
some way or other. I told him I had been trad- 
ing, but my goods were nearly exhausted, and 
shewed him some Jew's harps and needles. 
These he admired, but still he preferred money 
(cowries), but would like a present to keep in 
remembrance of me. This I told him was all 
very well, but I wanted to barter for some food. 
After much higgling, we made a hard bargain 
for some fowls and a large duck, which we were 
obliged to keep an eye upon, lest he should be 
again restored to his family. Had we killed him 
he would have been spoiled before morning, as 
nothing of animal life will keep good more than 
a few hours. Our method of taking the feathers 
off was by dipping the fowls in hot water, which 
saved a great deal of trouble. We purchased a 
small quantity of red rice, which grows in this 



WESTERN AFRICA. 89 

country, and with the two fowls and some shalots, 
we managed to make an excellent meal, after 
which we were left to repose in a tolerably com- 
fortable hut, but without mat or bedding of any 
description. The natives here are nearly all 
Mahomedan, but are not scrupulous as to the 
creed or habits of others, having been mixed 
up so much with Pagans throughout their long 
wars a few years back. 

Early on the morning of the 25th we again 
breakfasted off cold fowl'^and some cold boiled com. 
One of the soldiers fastened the Muscovy drake's 
feet together, and tied him to his havresack ; and 
thus we commenced our march from Akwaba, the 
path leading northward, narrow, arid worn very 
deep, which was caused by the* water running along 
it. The land was still level, with stunted trees of 
various descriptions, to me unknown by name. At 
seven miles we passed a small kroom, where indigo 
was rudely manufactured by pounding or grinding 
the leaves upon a stone upon which they also grind 
corn. When ground sufficiently it is made up 
into round balls about the size of a cricket-ball, 
and exposed in the market for sale. Iron is 
manufactured in this country. In this kroom 
hoes for agricultural use are made in a superior 
manner, as also stirrups, similar to those used by 



90 TRAVELS IN 

the Moors in the neighbourhood of Tangiers and 
El-Arish. Bits for horses' bridles are also manu- 
factured here of a very severe description, the 
cross-bar or mouth-piece having in its centre a 
ring large enough to allow the horse's under-jaw 
to pass easily through it : this ring of course acts 
both as bit and curb, but is very likely to break 
the horse's jaw, which is very frequently the case 
in the Fellattah country. 

In the neighbourhood of this kroom we again 
stocked our havresacks with com, which was of a 
superior sort, being smaller in the grain, and very 
sweet. At twelve miles we crossed the river 
ZiiFa, which runs eastward. This river is of little 
magnitude, though navigable by canoes of a large 
size. The country in the vicinity of the path was 
nearly level, but low table-mountains might be 
observed at a great distance to the eastward. At 
twenty-seven miles we arrived at the cultivated 
land in the vicinity of the town of Koma. It 
appears that as soon as our presence was known 
in the Fellattah country, and the route which 
we were pursuing, messengers had been des- 
patched before us to apprise the caboceers of our 
coming. 

When about a mile from the town, while passing 
through the com plantation, we were met by 



WESTERN AFRICA. 91 

Chosee, the King of this province, preceded by a 
host of cavaby, of extraordinary appearance, 
who came to meet us, flourishing their short 
broad-swords above their heads, accompanied by 
the wildest yells imaginable. Their horses were 
at their speed, but the little animals being over 
weighted, did not get over the ground very fast. 
My attendants were much alarmed at so unusual 
a spectacle, never having seen any mounted 
soldiery before. They halted in astonishment, 
not knowing whether they were our friends or ene- 
mies. I cannot but confess that I felt something 
of the same uncertainty myself; however, long 
exposure to danger and privation have a wonderful 
influence in preparing the mind for the various 
chances of travelling in a barbarous country, and 
we are often carried through scenes of danger and 
difficulty scarcely without noticing them at the 
moment they occur, though upon subsequent re- 
flection we often shudder at the idea of the danger 
we ran. I told my men not to be alarmed or 
show any symptoms of fear. They marched 
in single file close to my horse's heels, but I 
directed them that if an attack were made upon 
us, the act of my drawing my sword was to be a 
signal of defence, as it would be useless for us to 
sell our lives cheaply. 



92 tEAVKLS IN 

Before we had time to saj more^ the party were 
close upon us* I was aware that I had a much 
superior horse to any I observed amongst this 
troop ; and I also knew that I had much superior 
weapons to theirs, and that I could destroy a num- 
ber of them in a short time ; yet, if they stood, it 
was useless to hope for any success against such a 
disparity of numbers. However, when they were 
about three yards from me, the whole of this con- 
fused rabble pulled up short and commenced a 
song, each keeping his own time, in praise of 
the wisdom and power of their King, the group 
opening out from their centre to allow King 
Chosee to advance. I was aware that it was 
a customary thing for all strangers and inferiors 
to prostrate themselves before the kings or supe- 
rior rulers ; but I was equally aware that by so 
doing I should be lessening the dignity of my 
country, as well as their own respect towards 
myself. I remained consequently on horseback, 
till the King dismounted and was in the act 
of prostration, when I desired him not to do so, 
as it was not customary in my country. I then 
immediately dismounted, and shook hands with 
him, which is also a customary form of salutation 
in this country. His chiefs and principal men 
were then introduced to me. After going through 



WESTERN AFRICA. 93 

the usiial ceremonies observed upon receiving 
strangers of note, I was invited to enter the 
town of Koma. 

This town, like nearly all others in that coun- 
try, is strongly walled and fenced round, with only 
two gates. We were conducted to the market- 
place, preceded by a rude band of musicians, play- 
ing instruments like the ancient hautboy. The 
music was rude to the ear of an European, but 
still not unpleasant, and my people were quite 
delighted with it. I felt myself more at home in 
this town than in any place I had passed since 
1 left the Mahee country. The King acknow- 
ledged that he was made aware that my purpose 
in passing through the country was to visit Ter- 
rasso-weea. He, it appeared, was much esteemed 
as a man of talent, independently of his being 
a fetish-man. I was treated by this Bang with 
every mark of respect, and even kindness. He 
introduced me to his sister, to whom I presented 
a few needles and two thimbles. 

After returning to the market-place, the King 
introduced me to some of his wives, who were 
like so many sheep in a pen, over the walls of 
which on one side they could conveniently looki 
Here I was requested to station myself for show, 
like a wild beast in some public menagerie 



/ 



94 TRAVELS IN 

Some of the young wives seemed to take great 
interest in seeing a white man; others, upon 
mj looking steadfastly at tbem, ran back, as if 
alarmed. The weather being hot, I felt extremely 
thirsty, and asked one of my people to get me 
some water; whereupon the multitude of wives 
hearing what I requested, were in a moment 
all in a bustle which should be the first to present 
me with a calabash ftill of water. No doubt 
they expected a present for their attention. To 
the lady who first presented me with water, 
I gave a few needles. The King, perceiving 
that I was thirsty, ordered plenty of palm-wine 
to be set before me and my people. We were 
shortly after invited into one of the King's inner 
apartments, where provisions in abundance were 
set before us, amongst which I observed a fine 
guano, which had been dried like a kippered 
salmon, and cooked with native rice. Not much 
relishing, however, this alligator-like customer, 
I made over the whole of it to my people, and 
contented myself with some goat-soup, which 
was excellent. 

The King made many inquiries respecting my 
acquaintance with Terrasso-weea, and how long 
I had known him. To these questions I was 
rather perplexed how to answer, but was obliged 



WESTERN AFBICA. 95 

to acknowledge that I had only seen hie friend^ 
the Mahomedan priest, at the great custom at 
Abomey. A great many questions were then 
put to me as to how I happened . to come to 
Abomey, and if I had ever seen that great war* 
rior, the King of Dahomey. I confessed that I had, 
but happened merely to be passing through his 
country, when he asked me to remain a few days, 
as he might have done it himself, and that I was 
only travelling across the country to ascertain 
whether it would be possible to establislr a trade 
with this part of Africa, by bringing guns and 
gunpowder to exchange for their produce. Upon 
this he seemed much pleased, but quickly asked 
me whether we would take slaves in exchange, 
I replied that we were more in want of corn and 
oil, as well as ivory, all of which he professed to 
be able to supply in abundance. 

He asked in what way we would pass the mer- 
chandise I proposed to barter into his country, 
as he said that the great Kings of Dahomey and 
Yarriba would not allow any other articles than 
such as they approved of to pass through their 
country into the interior. To this I replied that 
we could come up the great river Niger, which 
was not known here by that name ; though I soon 
ascertained that he had a perfect knowledge of 






96 TRAVELS TS 

the unfortunate expedition up that river^ with 
the fire canoes^ as he called them; and he even 
knew of the disasters which happened to that 
expedition, assuring me that that season was 
the most fatal to the natives in his own and 
other countries in the interior, which had been 
known during the lifetime of the oldest man then 
living. 

The Niger ^appears to be known here only by 
the name Joleeba^ not Joliba, Only a few people 
here professed to have ever seen it. Fever and 
small-pox seem to be the most dreaded of all dis- 
eases ; though a very loathsome disease prevails, 
which in England is generally called yaws. Some 
are so afflicted with it, that the odour from their 
person is almost unbearable ; others are one mass 
of eruption with holes in the arms and legs even 
to the bone. 

After we had sufficiently rested ourselves, I 
proposed resuming my march, and looked out 
some Jew's harps, and a pair of small scissors, with 
some needles, as a present to the King, excusing 
myself for offering him such trifling articles, by 
informing him that I was not aware that I should 
come so far, but in my next journey I promised 
to make him some more valuable presents. He 
then commenced a long list of the articles which 



WESTERN AFRICA. V7 

he would prefer that I should briiig on my next 
Tisit, to which of course I assented. 

His Majesty expressed a great desire that I 
should remain that night, but as my journey was 
long, and I was anxious to get it over, I declined his 
kind offer, and resumed my march, accompanied 
by a messenger sent by the King to introduce me 
to the. chief of the next town, which we reached 
in about six miles more. This town is named 
Babakanda. Around it the land is in high culti- 
vation, bearing excellent crops of various sorts of 
corn and rice, as well as many bidbous plants for 
consumption. Here we were also tolerably well 
received, probably on accoimt of the King's 
messenger. This town is much larger than 
Koma, and has got a palace or a royal residence, 
where the King often resides. 

The King Chosee is sovereign of this town as 
well as many others in this neighbourhood. The 
caboceer of this place received us without great 
ceremony, and at first seemed rather shy and 
diffident, ,till the King's messenger intimated my 
knowledge of Terrasso-weea and my journey to 
Adafoodia. He then showed more familiarity and 
confidence. We asked him for some wood to 
kindle a fire to boil some corn, which we carried 
with us, and tried to buy some fowls, but they 

VOL. IL F 



98 TRAVELS IN 

were so very dear, that we could not make a bar- 
gain for any of them. They asked sometimes 
twenty strings of cowries for one fowl, though, as 
I have said, one string and a half was the mar- 
ket-price. I was much annoyed at this, but 
would even have purchased at their own price, if 
they would have taken any of my articles in ex- 
change; however, the caboceer would not take 
any thing but money in payment, though he asked 
greedily for presents. I gave him only a paper of 
needles, however, as a remuneration for the wood 
with which he supplied us. 

The chief manufacture of this town is leather 
and sabres of an inferior description, remaining in 
whatever position they are bent. Ginger is grown 
here in great abundance, as well as rice and yams 
of a very large description. The stock of cattle is 
also abundant, though not quite so handsome as 
those of the Mahee country. The natives are 
very shy of intercourse with strangers, conse- 
quently I had little opportunity of knowing by 
inquiry much of their locality beyond my own 
observation. The town appeared to contain about 
nine or ten thousand inhabitants. 

At day-break on the 26th July we breakfasted 
off a few heads of boiled corn, and marched from 
Babakanda, bearing N. 33° W., true bearing. 



^ 



WESTERN AFRICA* 99 

varying during the day's journey of twenty-eight 
miles, from 33° to 25% 20° to 80° W. During 
the first twelve miles the country was nearly of 
the same character as last described, except that I 
observed the springs in this neighbourhood to con- 
tain a greater quantity of carbonate of iron. At 
thirteen miles we arrived at the town of Seka. 
Here we entered with little ceremony, though our 
sudden intrusion did not seem quite agreeable to 
the caboceer. Probably this feeling was roused by 
our not having forwarded a messenger to acquaint 
him with our attention of visiting him, so that he 
might be able to make a greater display of his 
grandeur and show of dress, of which they are 
generally very fond. We found him in the market- 
place apparently very busy, for he appeared to 
monopolize the direction and regulate the prices 
of all merchandise and manufactures exposed in 
the outer market. 

Slaves were exposed in great numbers in the 
market for sale, some in irons and others with- 
out. It appears that those wearing irons were 
strangers, brought from a distance, and the others 
were in many instances the children and relatives 
of the sellers. It may not be perhaps generally 
known, that the children of domestic slaves are 
invariably the property of the owners of the 

F 2 



100 • TRAVEL8 IN 

parents^ and are bought and sold in a similar 
manner to our cattle^ when disposed of by the 
breeders in the public market. The outer market 
is outside of the walls, under the shade of large 
trees, but when a town or city has two walls, the 
public market is held within the outer walls. This 
market is often attended by strangers from a great 
distance. The private market is invariably held 
within the walls ; and if the town is large, there 
are several market-places in the most convenient 
parts of the town. 

The caboceer and his officers retain the power 
of regulating the prices, as I have before stated ; 
and as the greater part of the trade (with the ex- 
ception of any European goods which may find 
their way into these remote parts) is entirely in his 
hands, on the great public market-days he is always 
busily engaged in the purchase of goods for his 
private markets. His wives and slaves are then 
stationed in the inner markets with different 
articles for sale, and many of the younger boys 
and girls are sent round the towns in the neigh- 
bourhood, hawking light goods for sale. 
. The kolla-nut is a great article of trade here, 
and seems much prized by the natives. From its 
extreme bitterness it is an excellent tonic, and is 
very serviceable in promoting moisture in the 



WESTERN AFRICA. lOl 

mouth when parched for want of water. The 
kaom (saltpetre) in its original state is sold here, 
but at a much higher rate than in the Mahee 
country. Cloths are also manufactured here with 
considerable taste, as also bridles and saddles, 
ornamented with cowries. The market-places are 
arranged similarly to our system in Europe, 
different articles being sold in places specially 
appointed for their sale. 

In rainy weather the market, except for cattle, 
is held under the piazzas in front of the houses, 
which are very low, but as they always sit cross- 
legged, or lie down by their goods, they experience 
no inconvenience from the lowness of their dwell- 
ings. Honey is abundant here, but as dark in 
colour as molasses. The hives are generally taken 
in the hollow trunks of trees, when the honey is 
pressed from the comb, consequently it is not of 
the finest quality. A great quantity of peto is 
made here also, and sold in the market at a very 
low rate. When made strong, this liquor is very 
intoxicating, particularly as it is drunk in a state 
of fermentation. 

After a short interview with the caboceer, du- 
ring which he questioned me as to my purpose in 
visiting his country, I was asked to partake of 
some peto, which stood in immensely large earthen 



102 TRAVELS IN 

pots, made in the form of the bottle-gourd, from 
which, doubtless, they have taken their pattern. 
In reply to his questions I said, that my object was 
to ascertain what trade could be done in this part 
of the country in the event of my coming next 
time with a large quantity of goods. This, I knew, 
would please him, and he assured me that I should 
certainly get rid of any quantity I might bring. 
I told him, that after I had seen Terrasso-weea, I 
should return, and bring plenty of goods to his 
mart. I was very well aware I should easily 
get rid of any quantity of goods if I brought 
them, but in all probability at their own price. 
I knew, however, that this would be the safest ex- 
cuse I could make. I asked the price of slaves, 
and was immediately shown a number of male and 
female slaves, varying in price from forty-six 
thousand to forty-nine thousand cowries. 

After receiving orders for different articles on 
my return, I resumed my journey, having pre- 
sented the caboceer with a pair of scissors and a 
few needles. At twenty miles, we crossed the 
brook Ithay. Here I found good water, run- 
ning eastward over a gravelly bed. The country 
was level, and now more gravelly, containing a 
considerable quantity of iron. The soil was less 
rich, though crops of com were very abundant. 



WESTERN AFRICA. 103 

The valley forming the source of the brook Ithay 
was richly shaded with large trees of luxurious 
growth. 

At twenty-eight miles, we arrived at the large 
town of Assofoodah. Here we were also received 
with much apparent suspicion. It was now get- 
ting late, and I felt much anxiety to see the ca- 
boceer or king, to obtain a hut to sleep in. We 
were very tired, and though we had eaten a con- 
siderable quantity of corn as we passed along, still 
my people, as well as myself, were a good deal 
exhausted, and in want of more substantial food. 

After considerable delay, the caboceer came to 
the outer gate of the town, attended by a num- 
ber of bowmen and spearmen. He advanced 
with a slow, firm step, with a stem, suspicious 
frown upon his features. My poor fellows, who 
could speak English, remarked how different our 
treatment was when under the protection of the 
noble King of Dahomey, as compared with our pre- 
sent reception. However, this was not a time to 
humble ourselves, and I therefore determined to 
assume great consequence, though I was not now 
in possession of one single cowrie. I stood by 
my horse's head, with folded arms, and assumed 
as much consequence as if the place were my own. 
"When within about ten paces, the caboceer made a 



104 TRAVELS IN ' 

sudden halt^ his bead men prostrating themselves, 
and at the same time asking what I wanted with 
their master, whom they styled king. 

Upon this I replied, through my interpreter, 
that I had come to pay him a visit, and also 
for the purpose of trading with them. Though 
no further remark was made by them, there 
seemed something incredulous in his manner; 
and the whole of his people seemed distant 
and suspicious. I felt, consequently, much in- 
clined to leave the town, and encamp for the 
night in the bush; but, upon a second conside- 
ration, I thought if any evil were premeditated 
towards us, it would be more likely to be put into 
execution if we were out of the town than when 
under the protection of the King. I therefore 
sent a messenger to ask him if he could accommo- 
date us with a hut to shelter us, as it was now 
raining fast. But he had already observed the 
sudden approach of the tornado, and had gone to 
order a hut for our accommodation. This was at 
some distance, and we were led through small 
doors from one court-yard into another. 

After passing through several court- yards, I 
was told that my horse could proceed no farther, 
and must remain where it then was. This I did 
not at all relish. The objection made was that 



WESTERN AFRICA. 105 

the doorways were too low ; whereupon, I ordered 
the saddle to be taken ofl^ and the poor animal, 
bending itself down, passed through the whole 
of the low doorways, through which I could 
scarcely thrust myself. 

At last we arrived at a tolerably comfortable 
court-yard, of a quadrangular form, one side of 
which was occupied by large stones for grinding 
com. Here a number of good-looking young 
females were busily employed in grinding. Upon 
my entry, the most ridiculous confusion ensued ; 
no retreat was ever more precipitate ; one young 
girl pushing down and running over another, 
children screaming, even the dogs running, howl- 
ing with fear, and upsetting pots of provision, or 
anything which stood in their way. By this time 
I was wet through, and very glad when shown 
my hut, which was quite dark, having no opening 
to admit of light except the door-way, which was 
little more than three feet high. We were shortly 
afterwards furnished with some wood to make a 
fire, but we had nothing to cook. I endeavoured 
to bargain for some fowls in exchange for needles 
or thimbles, but, although they seemed to covet 
every thing they saw, money was their only object^ 
and, though Mahomedans, this seemed their god. 
We were consequently obliged to satisfy our* 

f3 



^* 



106 TRAVELS IN 

selves with roasting the heads of boiled com which 
we still retained in our havresacks. One young 
lad engaged to procure me plenty of grass and 
corn-leaves for my horse for some needles, which 
I readily agreed to. He was so much satisfied 
with his wages, that I. easily engaged him to pro- 
cure some old com for my horse also. He said 
his mother had got a large corn-store, but I found 
what he considered a large store did not exceed 
fifty or sixty bushels. 

He soon returned with plenty of com for my 
horse, and a fresh supply of needles seemed to give 
him great satisfaction. In a short time my hut 
was crowded with boys, each with a bundle of wet 
grass, thinking that they would obtain needles in 
payment. When I told them that the first supply 
was suflGicient, they declared, to- my no small 
amusement, that they thought I myself ate grass. 
Whether this was their real belief, or whether 
merely to obtain money, I am not able to deter- 
mine, but I should suppose the latter. After a short 
time, the affiighted ladies returned to their em- 
ployment, and were with others soon induced to 
come to the door of my hut. Some of the 
boldest of the crowd ventured to come into my 
hut, importuning me for dashes (presents), and 
shortly aftierwards made free enough to endeavour 



«^ 



WESTERN AFRICA. 107 

to examine the contents of our havresacks; but 
by a stem look^ and placing mj hand at the same 
time on the hilt of my sword, they made a hasty 
retreat. 

In about an hour afterwards, the king or chief 
returned to my quarters, and some of his attend- 
ants brought a small quantity of shea-butter to 
trim my lamp afresh. He asked me if I had any 
tobacco, or if I had any knives. Having a few 
small pocket-knives, I made him a* present of one 
and some Jew's harps. We kept a light the 
greater part of the night, during which time many 
parties came to look at me. This was annoying, 
as I so much required rest, and had an unsatisfied 
appetite. It was a bad season of the year 
for yams, which were not yet ripe, and in this 
country too they are of Inferior quality, and very 
insipid, being water yams. 



108 TRAVELS IN 



CHAPTER V. 

Inhospitality— Good Fortune— Soil— Mahomedan Town -Hymn 
of Welcome— The Natives, their Curiosity, &c.— Manufac- 
tures, &c.— The Crown-bird domesticated— Quampanissa— 
Market Day— Curiosity of the Natives— A Cranery— Market 

' Constables, their Functions— Singular Musical Instrument— 
A Palaver with the Caboceer— Bidassoa- Mishap — A Bivouac 
—Reception by 'the Caboceer— Palm Wine freely taken by 
Mahomedans — Superstition of the Natives — Grain Stores — 
Manufactures — Buffaloes— Fruit Trees— Horses, their market 
price here— Cattle — Elephants — Manufactures — Game— Me- 
thod of drying Venison— Trees, Shrubs, Grasses, &c. — Kosow 
— Terror of the Native Females— Appearance of the Caboceer 
—Palaver— Presents to the Caboceer— His Harem — Swim 

. across the River Ofo— Its Width, &c.— The Town of Kasso- 
Kano — Slave-Market— The Women— Neighbouring Hills — 
Iron — Antimony — Native System of smelting Ore — IS^ative 
Fuxnace and Bellows — Roguery— Bivouac. 

After a very uncomfortable night, and not much 
refreshed, we re-commenced at day-break, on the 
27th July, our journey, but without breakfast. 
We had met with but little hospitality in this 
town, consequently our presents were not many 
in return. We were escorted to the outer gates 
by the chief, who is vested with the sole govern- 
ment, and his order is peremptory law amongst 
the subjects of this and several other towns. But 
although styled king, he can at any moment be 



WESTERN AFRICA. 109 

divested of his power by the real monarch of the 
Fellattah country. As soon as we had parted with 
our friend and his people, we began to think of 
obtaining something to eat, being aware, that if at 
any distance from a town or kroom, we could not 
procure any com, as it is only in the neighbour- 
hood of towns or villages that the land is culti- 
vated. 

We very soon had an opportunity of filling our 
havresacks, and not long afterwards I had the 
good fortune to shoot a Guinea fowl, of an uncom- 
mon description, at least to me, as I had seen but 
very few previous to this. This bird was very 
large, and of a jet-black colour : even the legs 
were as black as a sloe. This good fortune seemed 
to cheer my men, who before seemed very low in 
spirits ; and, to be candid, I was not entirely void 
of the same feeling myself. 

The path from Assofoodah* bears N. 45° W., 
varying from 45** W. to 10", 25°, and 20° (true). 
The country was still level, the soil varying from 
gravel to a sort of ruddle, used in marking sheep, 
similar to some soils in England. This, when 
wet, seems greasy, and is very slippery. It is very 
productive. 

At four miles we arrived at a small town, 
strongly fenced in with a prickly hedge, at least 

* AsBofoodah contains s^bout twelve thousand inhabitants. • 



110 TRAVELS IN 

twenty yards broad, and strongly walled inside, 
each fence having a strong gate, as well as being 
guarded by a sentinel or watchman. Here we 
halted at the inner gate, till a messenger acquainted 
the caboceer with our arrival. We were not long 
before the caboceer came, attended by two 
priests (Mahomedan), who, as they advanced, re- 
peated passages of the Koran, at the same time 
holding out a small book about three inches wide, 
and four inches and a half long, with not v more 
than a dozen leaves of a curious sort of paper, 
resembling rice paper. This ceremony was some- 
thing entirely new to me, consequently I felt not 
a little confused, not knowing the meaning of it. 

I was soon, however, set at ease through my 
interpreter, who, though he was one of the Daho- 
man soldiers, was a native of some part of the 
Fellattah country. I was determined to wait 
patiently to see what would be expected of me, 
never oflfering to pay any compliment, though I 
could scarcely help thinking that they had already 
been paying me one, which I had not yet re- 
turned. My interpreter, however, assured me 
that this was a customary form upon a friendly 
reception of strangers. 

After the singing men had concluded their 
song or hymn of welcome, they all advanced, and 
with all the head men, except the chief himself. 



WESTERN AFBICA. HI 

prostrated themselves before me. I then ap- 
proached^ and^ dismounting, shook hands with the 
chief, who made me several graceful bows, each time 
repeating the word " sinou," which, in the language 
of their country, signifies, How are you f or. How do 
you do? The chief was a fine, stout old man, 
apparently about sixty-five years of age, and very 
active for a man of his years. 

The natives of this country are very different, 
both in form and appearance, as well as in cha- 
racter, and possess more elasticity of temper than 
natives near the west coast. They are also more 
quick in their ideas, and have greater expression 
in their features ; and are either very warm 
friends, or determined and persevering enemies. 
Their cranium differs considerably from that of the 
Mahees, the frontal bone being square and high^ 
and altogether displaying greater powers of in- 
tellect. Here I was treated with much more 
kindness than I bad anticipated, though nearly the 
whole of the natives were Mahomedans. 

- After being invited into the interior of the 
town, and seated in the court-yard of the palaver, 
we were presented with a large calabash of clean 
water, one of the chiefs principal men drinking 
first. A bottle-calabash was then handed to us 
full of wild honey, which is abundant here, and 
we were supplied with wood to make a fire to 



/ 






112 TRAVELS IN 

cook our breakfast. My people were now in 
tolerably good spirits, since we were so well re- 
ceived, and had got, or rather stolen, plenty of 
com for our consumption for the whole day. We 
had also a very fine Guinea fowl as well as plenty 
of yams. We soon got the steam up, and my man 
speedily divested the fowl of its outer rigging by 
dipping it into some scalding water, and in about 
three-quarters of an hour we sat down to enjoy a 
sumptuous breakfast ; after which, I expressed a 
wish to go over the town, which, although not a 
market-day, showed considerable bustle with only 
the usual daily trade. 

This town contains a considerable number of 
workmen of different trades, all of whom seemed 
employed, except such of them as were occupied 
in reconnoitring the white stranger. The loom 
and the anvil are both of very simple construction 
here. The former is on the same principle as those 
in the Mahee and Dahoman countries, and in fact 
upon the same principle as our looms in England, 
though showing less workmanship. Their thread, 
though spun with the distaff, is very regular and 
strong. Bridles and saddles are manufactured 
here with considerable ingenuity ; the dyeing of 
cloth and staining of leather are also well known 
here. 

The natives seem contented and are in the en- 



. H 



^"T^-W^^^^^^WI 



WESTERN AFRICA. 113 

joyment of plenty. But the extreme diiFerence in 
the manners and habits as well as disposition of 
the natives of different towns is scarcely credible, 
though in the immediate vicinity of each other. 
I believe this depends a great deal upon their 
chiefs or rulers, whether they be tyrannical or 
mild in the administration of their government. 
Here I observed several beautiful crown-birds of 
large size, walking about the town, quite domesti- 
cated. They are certainly one of the most beau- 
tiful of the feathered tribe I ever saw. The soil 
here changed to a light sandy loam, resembling 
that between Abomey and Canamina. 

We returned to. the palaver-house, after our 
stroll round the town, followed by nearly all the 
natives, old and young. The caboceer, or chief, 
seemed pleased to have an opportunity of grati- 
fying his people by the sight of a white man. 
At this town we obtained, to our satisfaction, 
some few articles of consumption in exchange for 
some of our own goods, namely, two fowls, some 
shalots, and a quantity of ground beans. We 
could not purchase a white fowl ; for some reason 
unexplained they would only sell black ones. Now 
that we were secure of a supply of provision for 
this day and the following, we presented the chief 
with some trifling presents, and then proceeded on 
our journey rejoicing. 



114 thayels in 

We were conducted out of the town by the 
chief and lus people, with nearly the same cere- 
mony as wa$ observed when we entered. After we 
had passed the outer gate we parted from our 
friends, and proceeded onwards. 

Nothing particular occurred worthy of observa- 
tion, the country still bearing the same features 
as last described, until, at twenty-one miles we 
reached the large town of Quampanissa. This 
being the market-day, we entered the public or 
outer market without ceremony; but the atmo- 
sphere bemg close and moist from the great heat 
and evaporation, our march was fatiguing and op- 
pressive, so that we were very glad to sit down, 
while I sent my Fellattah messenger to acquaint 
the chief, or gadadoo, as he is here called, with 
our arrival. During this time we were sur- 
rounded by nearly the whole of the people who 
were attending market, and so closely were we 
hemmed in that we were almost suffocated. In 
fact, those in the front of the crowd were involun- 
tarily thrust almost upon us, from the pressure of 
those behind, in their anxiety to catch a sight of 
me, being to them a great curiosity. My horse and 
trappings seemed to create a great sensation. 

In some large trees in this market-place was a 
cranery, the birds in which were composed of 
three different colours, and I believe of distinct 



WESTERN AFRICA. 115 

species, namely, white, blue, and brown, like the 
sparrow-hawk. They are never allowed to be dis- 
turbed or molested in any way, either in the cra- 
nery or in its vicinity. In a short time the crowd 
dispersed with as much precipitation as they had 
collected, several people advancing with immense 
thongs of bullocks' hides fastened to a handle, 
like a hunting-whip, and laymg about them right 
and left indiscriminately upon all who came in 
their way. These, it appeared, were market-con- 
stables, who are employed by the king, or gadadoo, 
to preserve order, and protect property in the 
market. These people are paid by a tax upon a 
portion of every article of provision exposed. Upon 
other articles a duty is charged in cowries. These 
men were clearing a passage for their master to 
advance. 

The procession was nearly the same as that I 
last described, with the exception of a stringed 
musical instrument of a different construction 
to any I had before observed. It is merely 
a plain piece of board, about twenty inches long 
and nine wide, with a piece of large bamboo cane 
laid across near each end, which forms the bridge, 
over which the strings, eight in number, pass. 
These strings are tightened or slackened in the 
same manner as our violin, but the instrument is 



116 TRAVELS IN 

slung from the shoulder, and is played guitar- 
fashion. The sound of this instrument appeared 
to me more musical than any native instrument I 
had yet heard, though near the coast I have seen 
instruments on a somewhat similar principle, 
being merely a small block of wood hollowed out, 
and a piece of hide with the hair shaven off covering 
over the concave part. This, when dry, becomes 
hard, and the strings are passed over two bridges, 
one at each end ; but the sound of this instrument 
is not equal to that I have just described. 

The chief conducted us into the inner market, 
where all was bustle and confusion. We marched 
into the centre, where seats were provided for us, 
although the chief and his people contented them- 
selves with lying down during the palaver. We 
informed him of our purpose in visiting his coun- 
try, and of our wish to overtake Terrasso-weea, 
for whom the chief professed great friendship. 
Here we cooked some of our provision, and re- 
mained to dine, the chief presenting us with some 
native ale (peto), but much staler than any I had 
before tasted. Probably this acidity was caused 
by its being kept too long. The articles exposed 
in this market w^ere much the same as those I 
have previously mentioned, but the only native 
manufacture I saw was cloth. 



WESTERN AFRICA. 117 

After remaining about an hour and a half we 
again proceeded on our journey, and at thirty-one 
miles approached the town of Bidassoa; but it 
being late, and being uncertain how we might be 
received, we went a few hundred yards out of 
the path into a corn-plantation, and there en- 
camped for the night. Here we kindled a fire, 
and again I put my small camp-kettle into re- 
quisition, and we had another feast, but not before 
the whole had been upset, and we had been com- 
pelled to go a considerable distance to procure 
more water. 

This mishap was caused by my horse, which 
had always a particular propensity to paw the fire 
abroad whenever he was within reach of it. 
I had fastened it to my foot by its halter, but 
being near the fire, it upset the kettle and scraped 
the fire all abroad. We were now left to our 
own meditations, which were far preferable to 
being compelled to submit to the annoying cere- 
mony always observed upon our entering a town. 
My people seemed also to enjoy the comfort of 
being alone. I had given each of my men a Jew's 
harp of a large size, upon which they were desirous 
of learning to play. It gave me much pleasure to 
see them in such a contented mood ; I therefore 
amused myself for a time in giving them lessons. 



118 TRAVELS IN 

till overcome with sleep. During the night we 
were obliged to keep up a good fire lest any of 
the wild beasts should feel inclined to make a 
meal of any of us. However, I enjoyed a tolerably 
good night's repose, till awoke by my horse nib- 
bling at my feet. I then aroused my men, who 
were still fast asleep, and our breakfast was soon 
prepared. I had made up my mind to avoid the 
town of Bidassoa, but upon consideration I 
deemed it more prudent to call, lest any un- 
pleasant suspicions might arise owing to our 
seeming disrespect 

On the morning of the 28 th July, we con- 
sequently entered the town, without being de- 
tained ; the chief was already aware of our pre- 
sence in his neighbourhood, and had already pre- 
pared himself to receive us. We were met at 
the outer gates by himself and retinue, and with 
nearly the same ceremony as was observed upon 
entering the two last towns. We were re- 
quested to follow him to the market, which is, 
in most instances, the place of palaver. Here we 
were supplied with water, and afterwards with 
palm-wine, but I felt not a little surprised to find 
the chief and his headmen all partake of the same, 
for I had previously found the Mahomedans abstain 
from everything of a spirituous nature as in- 



WESTERN AFRICA. 119 

toxicating. In answer to my remarks respecting 
this difference, I was informed that this wine was 
original, and the production of one single tree, 
consequently was not rendered unclean by the 
addition or compound of any other substance; but 
they never partake of peto, though they do not 
interfere with Pagans for using such drink, 
neither do they interfere with the food of the 
latter. 

Here certain days are strictly observed by 
not eating a black fowl ; on other days the same 
is observed with respect to white fowls ; neither 
will they eat anything which is killed previous 
to their seeing it. Many are so strict indeed 
that they will not eat anything unless killed 
by their own hands. I received at this place , 
a present of a pair of turtle-doves, which are 
here abundant early in the mornings, but as 
soon as the sun becomes very powerful, they, as 
well as other birds, all disappear, and conceal 
themselves in the shade of the bushes and trees. 

This town seems to supply many more than its 
own inhabitants with com, their stores being con- 
siderable. Their manner of storing it is by building 
circular houses about ten feet high, in the bottom 
of which a hole of about six inches square is left 
to allow the grain to run out when wanted, which 
is done by drawing a slide which covers the hole. 



120 TRAVELS IN 

The corn is poured in at the top, and is covered 
by a portable roof of frame-work similar to an 
umbrella, which is composed of palm and long 
grass, like reeds. This covering is removed at will 
to allow ventilation. These granaries are generally 
about eight feet in diameter, and are composed of 
clay or swish.* 

Cloth of a good quality is m anufactured in this 
town, and shea-butter is in abundance as at 
all other places. The inhabitants were very 
anxious to obtain a sight of a white man; but they 
considered my colour an exaggeration or omis- 
sion of Nature, similar to some instances of white 
negroes whom I observed, though born of black 
parents. They seemed much amazed when told 
that all Europeans were white, like myself, but 
that some had hair as black as their own. 

Earthen pots and a sort of thin brick or tile are 
made here for ornamenting certain parts of the 
dwellings of the richest inhabitants, and a great 
slave-market is also held, but not being market- 
day I saw no slaves exposed. In the inner 
markets, and even at the doors of the houses, 
goods are exposed every day for sale. Tobacco, 
which was quite common in the Mahee country, is 
rarely seen here. 

* Granaries of a similar constmction have been noticed in 
the neighbourhood of Whydah. 



- — - 



WESTERN AFRICA, 121 

After remainiDg about an hour and a half^ and 
giving away some needles and thimbles, we in- 
formed the chief that we wished to depart on our 
journey. He pressed us to stop another day, but 
I expressed my anxiety to proceed. He said he 
was abready aware of my being in quest of Ter- 
rasso-weea, who seemed to be a great favourite 
in this place also. "We were then escorted to the 
outer gates, where, after the priests had repeated 
some part of the Koran as an intercession for our 
success and safety on our journey, we marched 
from Bidassoa, bearing N, 23** W,, and varying 
during our day's journey to 45° and 10* W. The 
land now became uneven and more rugged, with 
blocks of rock of a nature resembling slate, 
different to any thing I had before observed. 

At four miles we reached a small kroom, where 
I observed very fine cattle, the land rising gently 
to the northwards, with shea-butter and palm- 
trees, and a small river running to the south-west. 
There was also abundance of very large buffaloes. 
A small market is held daily at this kroom, 
which is chiefly dependnet upon travellers, being 
near the crossings of several paths leading to 
different large market-towns. The principal 
articles sold are kolla-nuts, with several sorts of 
ground beans and nuts, calavansas, and manioc- 

VOL. n. G 



]22 TRAVELS m 

root, as well as kankie, ready cooked. Palm-wine 
is also sold here at a low rate to the natives. 

There appeared to be but little manufacture in 
this place, except a few trifling articles of iron, 
and some wooden bowls, rudely carved and orna- 
mented. We only halted here for a short time. 
At seven miles we passed through thick wood 
and swampy soil scarcely passable. Fruit-trees of 
various sorts were now very abundant and in full 
bearing, and very delicious and refreshing wild 
grapes hung in clusters over our heads : these 
were the green grape. The gwaba and yellow 
fig also abounded, with many other fruits with 
which I was unacquainted. 

At ten miles we arrived at a kroom of about 
four hundred inhabitants. Here we saw a large 
number of horses of a small description. They 
much resembled our Hampshire foresters in shape, 
though a little finer breed. They were sold in this 
market at the rate of four heads of cowries, equal to 
four Spanish dollars on the west coast of Africa, 
but are of much greater value in the interior. 
Here we halted for an hour, and were tolerably 
well received by the caboceer, or head man, who 
seemed very ready to gratify our curiosity by 
showing us round his village. 

The breed of cattle here is extremely handsome. 



WESTERN AFmCA. 123 

and the sheep considerably larger than those in 
the Kong Mountains. We were shown two very 
large elephants^ which had been taken near the 
swamp, where we were told they much abound, 
though we did not observe any in crossing it. 
I noticed a great number of female slaves, 
many of whom were very handsome; they also 
appeared remarkably cheerM and pleasant in their 
manner. Nightcaps are knitted by the natives in 
a sumlar manner to those in Great Britain. The 
loom is also plied here, but not to a great extent. 
Guinea fowls are very abundant, both in a wild 
and tame state; partridges are also plentiful in 
the neighbourhood. Here, as in nearly all other 
towns in this country, the kolla-nut seems a 
favourite article of commerce. 

We fortunately procured some dried venison, 
which is delicious in flavour when made into soup, 
and seasoned with their different vegetables, 
amongst which I may mention the chili as in- 
variably their principal seasoning. We gave in 
exchange for the venison treble its value. Their 
method of drying is simple : it is cut into pieces, 
dried before a large fire, and held occasionally in 
the smoke of the iron-wood, which, from its 
chemical properties, is considered preferable to any 
other sort of wood. Salt is never used, either in 

o2 



124 TRAVELS IN 

drying fish or venison. We were, as usual^ escorted 
out of this kroom by the gadadoo, and again com- 
menced our march. 

The soil was again different, being of a moist 
sandy clay, and very productive. Here I observed 
several large sycamor.e-trees, as well as an ash, 
which was more rough in the bark than that of 
England. The beautiful acacia is invariably an 
ornamental plant in the towns and villages. As 
we passed I observed some very curious grasses, 
different to any I had previously observed, as well 
as heaths, and shrubs bearing fruits of various 
forms and flavour, but all of a yellow colour. They 
were very delicious and refreshing. 

At twenty miles we arrived at the small town of 
Kosow. This is a pleasant little town, fenced 
in the usual way. Near the gates we observed 
a number of females busily employed in thrash- 
ing the Guinea corn on some flat rocks, by the 
side of a small lake or pond, but upon our 
approach they fled precipitately, and ran into the 
town. We remained, as customary, at the outer 
gate till the caboceer had been made aware of our 
presence. During the time we remained here 
several persons came within a few yards of us, 
apparently to obtain a sight of us; but immediately 
I turned my head to look at them, both males and 



^mm 



WESTERN AFRICA. 12$ 

females made a hasty retreat. The males were all 
armed both with bow and spear. 

In a short time the gadadoo made his appear- 
ance on horseback. His little horse was richly 
caparisoned; with a very curious pad or saddle^ 
covering nearly the whole of the horse's back. 
The border of the shabrack was ornamented with 
letters or characters, apparently of the Persian or 
Arabic. Here we were received with great so- 
lemnity, although the venerable chief never suf- 
fered a smile to appear on his countenance until 
the ceremony was over. We were then led, as 
usual, into the palaver place, where we were sup- 
plied with seats carved out of the solid wood. Here 
we were strictly interrogated respecting our busi- 
ness in that country, to which I replied as I had 
to others. As usual, my assumed knowledge of 
Terrasso- weea seemed to give tolerable satisfaction ; 
but a proposition was made that I should remain 
at Kosow until a messenger should be forwarded 
to Terrasso-weea, with a desire that he should meet 
me at Kosow. This proposal, however, I strongly 
objected to as likely to give offence. 

My opposition to his proposal did not altogether 
seem to meet the chief's approval. He next pre- 
tended to doubt whether we ought to be allowed 
to pass through the country without the great 



126 TRAVELS IN 

king of the country being ma^e aware of our inten- 
tions. Again, however, the old man failed in his 
object, for my Fellattah soldier informed him that 
the great king of his country had already been 
made aware of our presence, and had also sanc- 
tioned our march through his dominions. 

Being thus frustrated at all points, the old man 
demanded what white man was going to dash him, 
or what present he was going to make him. In 
return, I asked him what he intended to give me 
as a stranger visiting his country. He answered, 
that no white man had ever been in that country 
before, and it was very probable that no other 
might ever come again, and he should like to have 
something to hand down to his descendants as a 
memorial of a white man having once been there. 
Gain seemed his only object, and his wish to for- 
ward a messenger to Terrasso-weea was merely to 
detain me in order to have a chance of obtaining 
presents. I gave him some new gilt buttons, and 
a large Jew's harp, as well as some needles, and two 
thimbles. I played several tunes upon the Jew's 
harp, with which he seemed much delighted. 

He then introduced me to his harem, which was 
composed of about one hundred and twenty females 
of considerable beauty, being much fairer than 
any I had seen since leaving Abomey. Their 



'-^ 



WESTERN AFRICA. 127 

features and figures were very good, though their 
hair was woolly, but much longer than I had 
before seen of the woolly tribes. These women 
were all enclosed within a wall of about three feet 
and a half high. Some of them seemed gratified, 
while others seemed quite the reverse; but the 
chief's females were not the only fair women in 
the place. The generality of the inhabitants 
were equally as fair. I was oflfered my choice 
of one for forty-two thousand cowries ; but I 
informed the seller that I was not at present in 
waint of any slaves, or a wife. This surprised 
him very much, for he declared that he himself 
could not live with less than twenty wives, but 
that he had a very great many more. He picked 
out his principal or favourite wife, to whom he 
introduced me, doubtless with a view of obtaining 
some presents for her; but I could not under- 
stand the hint, as I found my little stock fast 
decreasing. 

After eating some of our dried venison with 
some roasted plantains, we resumed our journey ; 
and at twenty-five miles, arrived at the river 
Ofo, but unfortunately we found no canoe, or 
anything to convert into a raft, to cross it. We 
were consequently obliged to make preparations 
for swimming across. One of my people carried 



128 TRAVELS IN 

a change of linen^ and two pair of light trowsers^ 
and some other articles of hardware^ as presents, 
in a small carpet-bag. This we tied with the saddle 
to the horse's back. My little horse was an ex- 
cellent companion in the water, for, by holding 
the fastening rope of his headstall, he pulled me 
across with a rapidity scarcely credible. 

I had an American life-preserver, but that had 
already nearly drowned me by bursting. I never, 
therefore, trusted to its buoyancy again. We 
crossed the river in safety, but of course all our 
clothes were wet. My bag on the horse's back 
was quite wet upon the horse's first plunge into 
the water. The two soldiers also got their muskets 
wet, but saved their powder, by placing it on their 
havresacks, and tying them on their head. My 
ammunition was also preserved dry in consequence 
of keeping it in a water-tight case. 

Immediately after we had crossed the river, 
two men from Kosow made their appearance. 
The caboceer had made no mention of this river, 
and he undoubtedly expected, by sending men 
after us, to ferry us across at an enormous charge. 
It appeared that the caboceer of Kosow keeps a 
canoe for the purpose of ferrying people across 
the river, but it is placed at a small kroom, about 
half a mile higher up the river. Travellers with 



iUI 



, WESTERN AFRICA. • 12 

heavy loads cannot cross this river without em- 
ploying the canoe. The men seemed much disap^ 
pointed when they found that we had already 
crossed* The river Ofo is here thirty-five yards 
wide, and twenty feet deep, with a sandy bottom. 
The current is three miles and a half per hour, and 
runs in a south-east direction. 

To ascertain the depth of rivers, I had pre- 
pared a lead with a bullet, boring a hole through 
it ; through this I passed a small line of twine, 
leaving the lower side of the bullet countersunk ; 
into this a piece of goat's tallow is pressed. The 
twine is then passed through a very thin piece of 
wood about five inches square. If the river is very 
wide, and the crossing made by canoe, the line of 
course may be dropped over board as on board 
ship, but if you are obliged to swim, the ball and 
wood may be dropped on the water. The bullet 
of course sinks to the bottom, and draws the twine 
through the hole in the wood at the same time, 
till it reaches the bottom; the line being marked into 
feet, the depth is accurately ascertained. If a river 
is not more than forty yards wide, it may also be 
measured in the same way, by throwing the wood 
and ball into the midde of the river ; taking care 
to coil the line carefully up previously to throw- 
ing it. 

g3 



130 • TRAVELS IN 

The banks of the river Ofo are low, not being 
more than three feet above the surface of 
the water. We remained on the bank of this 
river till we dried our clothes. Here we also 
cooked some provisions, and cleaned our guns. 
We then again resumed our journey; and, at 
twenty-eight miles, arrived at the large town of 
Kasso-Kano. This town is well built, and the 
houses well thatched. There are three market- 
idays in the week here : this happened to be one 
of them, and though the afternoon was far ad- 
vanced, the dealers were busily employed. Slaves 
were abundant, and many parents were publicly 
offering their children for sale, numbers of them 
not more than eleven or twelve years of age. They 
showed their slaves off, and purchasers scrutinized 
them with as much care as our horse-dealers at an 
English fair. 

Here the women are modest and handsome, the 
men generally tall, thin, and sinewy. They are 
apparently very jealous of their women, and natu- 
rally covetous and suspicious, and moreover great 
thieves. The chief is a shrewd, cunning fellow, 
and, like all others in the same office, seems to 
monopolize in a great measure the greater portion 
of the trade in all articles of consumption. 

The hills in this neighbourhood abound with 



WESTERN AFRICA. 131 

iron^ and another mineral substance resembling 
coal, but this mineral is not so abundant ; it is pro- 
bably antimony. I have forgotten its name. It was 
brought on board in small pieces (the largest not 
more than half an inch square) during the late 
Niger expedition, but it was extremely dear* It is 
used as and considered an infallible cure for inflam- 
mation in the eye, by merely rubbing it round it. 
Here I had an opportunity of observing their 
system of smelting ore. The furnace is composed 
of finely-worked clay, nearly as hard as Boman 
cement. The dye-vats are composed of the same 
substance ; the furnace is built of a circular form, 
and of about five or six feet diameter, and about 
eight feet high. From the top to the middle the 
furnace tapers inwards to the centre in the form 
of a funnel ; it again widens from the middle to 
the bottom. At the bottom are fixed two pair of 
bellows, which are covered nearly over with earth, 
and kept constantly wet. The bellows are formed 
by cutting two large round holes in a large block 
of wood of the cotton-tree. The handles of the 
bellows are about a yard long, and about the 
thickness of the barrel of a musket. These are 
fixed into the centre of a circular piece of leather 
or hide at one end* This piece of hide is suffi- 
ciently large to cover the hole in the block of wood ; 



132 TRAVELS m 

it is put over this hole^ and nailed round the edges. 
Besides the apertures there are two smaller 
holes, bored through the sides of the block to 
communicate with the large hole forming the 
body of the bellows. Over the mouth of the 
small hole, where it communicates with the body 
of the bellows, is a stopper or valve, which shuts 
close on the hole when the handle is pressed 
down. The two leather covers, being very loose, 
are raised up and down alternately, upon the same 
principle as the bellows used in England. 

The man who blows takes the handles (which 
are perpendicular,) in each hand, and raises one 
hand up, and at the same time presses the other 
down, so that with the two bellows a constant 
blast is kept up. The pipe is frequently made of 
a sort of clay, similar to that used in coarse 
earthenware ; but when such things can be pro- 
cured, old gun-barrels, which have burst on the 
coast, not unfrequently find their way into the in- 
terior, and are sold at a very high price for this pur- 
pose. Guns in good condition are never suffered 
to pass into the interior, if the chiefs on or near the 
coast can prevent it. 

But to describe the furnace : iron-wood charcoal, 
wheil it can be procured, is used for fuel. The 
furnace is then filled with a layer of charcoal and 



mm^^^mt III « I iii^wi I «ii«iiNiniii>^B«Hiiv 



WESTERN AFRICA. 133 

iron alternately, and then the fire is lighted at 
the bottom, and the blowing commences. Two 
and sometimes three hours elapse before a melt- 
ing heat can be produced. The melting of the 
ore of course commences nearest the blower, and 
the fused metal falls into the bottom of the furnace, 
when some more ore supplies the place of that which 
is already melted. When the whole is melted, a 
stopper is drawn to let the liquid iron run into 
long narrow moulds, which have again to be 
melted previously to becoming fit for the ham^ 
mer. This was the most efficient Aimace I had 
yet seen, and the iron seemed remarkably tough 
and pliable. They seem ignorant of the method 
of hardening it, though swords and spear-heads, 
as well as arrow-heads, are manufactured in Kasso- 
kano. 

The natives made several attempts to steal my 
camp-kettle, but my interpreter told them, as I 
clapped my hand to my sword, that I never hesitated 
to chop off an arm or a head, if I caught any one 
stealing my property. They told him he must not 
talk of cutting arms or heads off where we were 
only intruding strangers; but my hiterpreter assured 
them, that if their numbers were ten times more 
than they were, a white man cared not. If any 
nian does him wrong, he kills him by some evil 



134 TBATBLS 

art, if not hj the siroid. Ahhftngfa this aaaeition 
was of oouiBe ridiciiloiis, it appealed to have the 
denied efiect. 

After the gadadoo had finiahed his busmeas, he 
again joined na, as we were lying down under 
a huge tree, in the market-place. He offered ns 
a hut dnrii^ the remaining part of the night, 
bat we found it so filthy, as to be uninhabit- 
able, being merely a shed where the shives had 
been kept for sale during the day. Both myself 
and men felt much annoyed at thie^ and we deter- 
mined to leave the town, and encamp somewhere 
in the bush. We gave the gadadoo some small 
presents, but he seemed to have expected much 
more. I peremptorily refused to extend my 
gifts, and took my departure very abruptly, to 
proceed on my journey, never intimating any 
thing of my intention of encamping near the 
town. 

We passed out of the town at the northern 
having entered at the southern gate, the path 
bearing N. 30'' W., and at two miles from the 
town we turned some distance out of the path, 
where we found some rocks, and behind these we 
encamped for the night, but did not kindle a fire, 
lest we might be observed. Early in the morning 
I aroused my poor fellows, who were evidently 



BnnF<'"9RSH>F 



l^ESTERN AFRICA. 135 

beginning to show symptoms of having been over- 
marched ; and^ though I rode a great part of the 
distance, I foimd the wound in my leg getting 
every day larger. Still I determined to pursue my 
journey, and though my poor companions had 
several times hinted that the safest course was to 
turn back, I remembered the old adage, recom- 
mended by Captain Beaufort of the Admiralty, 
never to put my hand to the plough and look 
backward. I felt much for my men, but I dared 
not say any thing, lest they should take a resolu- 
tion not to proceed. 



136 TRAVELS m 



CHAPTER VI. 

Peculiar Breed of Dog»— The Town of Zabakano— Market Day- 
Native Manufactures — Domestic Slaves— Palm Oil — Joleeba, 
or Niger — Horses make part of the Family — Pelican Nest — 
Pigeons — Kindness of the Gadadoo — Pigeon Shooting— 
Palaver with the Gadadoo — Population — Mounted Soldiers 
— ^Charaeter of the Scenery — ^Grooba— Manufactures — The 
Town of Sagbo — Drilling System general here — Two sorts 
of Rice — Received by the Gadadoo with great Pomp — Palaver 
— Dromedary and Elephant — Prevalent Diseases — The 
Town of Jakee — ^Reception — Ancient Custom — Breakfast of 
the Natives — Manufactures — Terror of the Natives — Chaly- 
beate Springs — The River Jenoo — ^The Land Tortoise — In- 
teresting Panorama — The Town of Kallakandi — Reception by 
the Sheik — Palaver— Band of Musicians— Peculiar Instru- 
ments — Manufactures, &c. — ^Slave Market — Horses — Laws — 
Cruel Punishment — Population — Attack on a Boa-Constrictor 
— Manu£ebctures — ^Deer — Method of Preserving Meat and Fish 
— Trap for Wild Animals— Town of Ongo — Reception by the 
Caboceer — Interesting Aspect of the Country. 

July 29th. — ^We kindled a fire, and made break- 
fast, and at sunrise we again commenced our 
journey from the neighbourhood of Kassokano. 
The country was much of the same character 
as that we had recently passed. Here I observed 
a particular species of dogs, much coarser than 
those in the Kong Mountains, where the breed 
is very much like the British greyhound, though 



m*ip 



WESTERN AFRICA. 137 

not SO large. After passing over several small 
streams of good water, of which we had each 
a hearty draught, we, at seven miles, arrived 
at the large town of Zabakano. Here the King 
met me, and escorted me with two hundred horse- 
men. He was well acquainted, it appeared, with 
the priest Terrasso-weea. 

This town is beautifully situated, commanding 
aview of the surrounding country to a great dis- 
tance. The people seem cheerful and contented. 
This was one of the principal market-days, conse- 
quently I had an opportunity of observing the sup- 
plies of the different articles of trade and con- 
sumption. It was well supplied with native pro- 
duce, and a greater quantity of rice was exposed 
than in any other market I have visited in Africa. 
Here, also, I was shown a large quantity of armlets 
and bracelets, manufactured with considerable taste 
and skill in Bomou^ and brought thither by Ter- 
rasso-weea's trading party. Tanning and dyeing 
are also executed skilfully; and sandals and a 
peculiar sort of slippers are here manufactured, 
similar to those we found in Tangiers. 

The chief possesses a great number of domestic 
slaves, but sells none of them. They are chiefly 
employed in trading with the surrounding towns 
and in tilling the soil, which is in a high state of 



/ 



138 TRAVELS IN 

cultivation, to a considerable distance round. 
Palm-oil is manufactured here^ and is actually 
transported, by the tributary navigable streams, 
to the Niger, or Joleeba, the name by which it 
is here known. Here it is not known either 
by the name of Quarra or Niger, but this circum- 
stance is not at all surprisiug, for I find that all 
the rivers have different names in the various 
countries through which they flow. I have also, 
in many instances, found two places with the same 
name, at no very great distance from each other ; 
but, in fact, the same may be observed in our 
own country. Native iron and nitre were abun- 
dant in this market. 

Horses here invariably make part of the family, 
being fastened to a peg driven into the ground 
or floor, by the hind foot, having only about a foot 
of rope. The children are often seen playing be- 
tween the legs of the animal, with which it seems 
much pleased, often nibbling at their heads with 
its lips, or licking their faces, as a spaniel would. 

The chief seemed very anxious to acquaint us 
with every thing which might tend to our 
gratification; and, though he was the principal 
trader himself, he accompanied us through every 
part of the town. Close to the town is a lake, 
supplied partly by a small stream, and partly by 



WESTERN AFRICA. 189 

the heavy rains during the season. On this lake 
were a number of large trees, upon which were 
the nests of the pelican, a great number of which 
we saw roosting on the branches. I had never 
seen the nest of the pelican on a tree since I was 
in Egga, a town on the banks of the Niger, 
when I was there with the late unfortunate expe- 
dition under Captain Trotter. I then shot several 
on the trees ; but here, at Zabakano, the inhabi- 
tants had an objection to mj killing any of them ; 
I could not therefore secure a specimen. Pigeons 
were very numerous here, both the wood-pigeon 
and the turtle-dove. The chief did not object to 
my shooting these, so I soon secured sufficient 
for my party for this and the following day. We 
were obliged to cook them immediately. 

We were, however, very kindly treated by the 
chief or gadadoo, who strongly urged us to re- 
main a day with him. This kind treatment seemed 
to inspire my poor fellows with fresh courage 
and animation ; in fact, it seemed to act as a fresh 
stimulus to all of us. The natives were quite de- 
lighted with the sport of pigeon-shooting, for one 
or two of them were acquainted with such guns 
as had found their way to this town, and several 
others in the neighbourhood, but of the locks they 
had no idea ; for guns are not allowed to be 
brought here by way of trade in a perfect state. 



140 TRAVELS IN 

and even were they, still without powder they 
would be useless. 

The chief has a very large number of wives, 
but the principal portion of them are merely em- 
ployed as his domestic slaves, as indeed are all 
the wives of the uncivilized Africans. The 
civilized portion is very limited, even on the coast. 
The gadadoo made me a very liberal offer for my 
carbine, but I told him that it would not be of so 
much service to him as his bow or sabre, unless 
he had a supply of ammunition ; that as I had 
visited his country partly with a view to ascertain 
what articles would be most likely to suit their 
markets, I should, as soon as possible, return with 
a large stock of suitable merchandise. A story 
like this was much more likely to be believed 
amongst savages than any other excuse I could 
make for visiting their country. If told that 
my object was merely for scientific purposes, 
they would not have understood me, and would 
have been more likely to look upon me with 
suspicion, as they cannot believe any body can 
take interest about any thing not of a pecuniary 
nature. 

This town contains about nine thousand inhabi- 
tants ; it is clean and open, but I was informed 
that after the conclusion of the rainy season fever 
and small-pox are very prevalent. Small-pox is 



WESTERN AFRICA. 141 

much dreaded by the natives, and seems to be the 
principal disease here, I have not observed one 
case of elephantiasis since leaving Accra, although 
at Whydah a disease of a similar nature is pre* 
valent, affecting the head, and not unfrequently 
enlarging the forehead and eyebrows so much as 
totally to obscure vision. This distortion of 
nature, as may be supposed, has an extremely 
repulsive appearance. 

After remaining about an hour and a half, I 
gave the gadadoo some small presents, which he 
received with apparent satisfaction. He and his 
head men, as well as his two hundred mounted 
soldiers, then conveyed me some distance from the 
town, going through their manoeuvres of attack 
at the same time. This was merely a wild rush 
without any order or discipline, and so far from 
their being (as has been represented) a formidable 
force, ten well-mounted and well-disciplined hors^ 
men would easily annihilate the whole party. 

Here we parted from the most generous and 
affable chief we had met with since leaving the 
Mountains of Kong. During this day's journey, 
our bearing changed from N. 45** W. to 12"* 
. 10% 35% 43% and due West (true). The country 
now became very pleasant, and the path not 
so rough under foot. Around us in different 



142 TRAVELS IN 

directions were numerous hills, giving a relief to 
the dull sameness of a flat, dreary plain. We 
crossed several small clear streams, some of which 
had worn their channels nine or ten feet deep. 

At fourteen miles we arrived at the small town 
of Grooba. Here the old chief, or head man, 
received us very kindly; doubtless, he had re^ 
ceived a message which prompted this friendly 
reception. This town is clean and neat for an 
African town. The only manufacture of note 
here is cotton tobes, but different in pattern 
to the cloths manufactured in the Kong Moun- 
tains, which are invariably striped with various 
colours ; but here the cloth is all either blue or 
white, similar to the tobes worn by the Mandingo 
traders who visit Sierra Leone. Here the black- 
smith plies his trade, but only for the accommo- 
dation of the inhabitants of the town. A sort 
of cloth is also manufactured from the inner bark 
of a certain tree, which is very strong and 
durable, and of various colours. This when 
woven into cloth has a very rich appearance; 
long sashes or girdles of the same material are 
worn by most of the influential persons. 

At seventeen miles we halted by a small stream 
and kindled a fire, where we cooked some of our ' 
pigeons, and had an excellent dinner. We after- 



WESTERN AFRICA. 143 

wards resumed our journey, and at twenty-eight 
miles arrived at the town of Sagbo. Around this 
town the country is well cultivated, and the drill- 
ing system seemed generally adopted. This is^ 
doubtless, an advantage during the rainy season. 
Four different sorts of maize are cultivated here, 
as well as two sorts of rice, white and red. 
Here they have a better mode of cleaning and 
preparing the rice for use than any other place 
I have yet visited. The kolla-nut is abundant, 
as also the palm and shea-butter nut. Indigo is 
cultivated, and rudely manufactured in nearly 
all the towns we passed since leaving the Mahee 
country. 

The chief and his head men and bowmen re- 
ceived us in a similar manner as at other places, 
with great pomp and solemnity, his priests 
taking the lead in conducting us into the market- 
place, advancing at a slow pace and repeating 
some select portion from the Koran. This cere- 
mony, upon the whole, reminded me of a funeral 
procession in England. After we reached the 
palaver place in the market, we were invited 
to sit down, and water was handed to us. 
Nothing qlse, however, of a liquid nature was 
offered us. We were, as usual, interrogated as 
to our purpose in visiting the country. These 



144 TRAVELS IN 

questions I answered to the same effect as I 
had previously done. My reply seemed to ^ve 
general satisfaction. The chief was surrounded by 
bowmen and spearmen, many of whom were very 
fine-looking men. During this time, the chief, or 
sheik, as he is here called, amused himself by 
playing with his beard, rather an uncommon orna- 
ment amongst these people, and highly esteemed. 
We were presented with two fowls by one of 
the head men, to whom in return I gave two papers 
of needles. 

This town is well supplied with good water, 
and the cattle, both sheep and oxen, are very 
handsome; the horses are small^ but well bred. 
The dromedary and elephant are here to be met 
with tame. The sugar-cane is also cultivated, and 
very large, but not manufactured. The liquor 
after boiling the cane is used mixed with the 
meal of the Indian corn, instead of, or rather as 
we use tea or coffee ; sometimes a little ginger, 
which grows here spontaneously, is added to it. 
This is a very wholesome and palatable beverage. 

Here the small-pox had made dreadful havoc 
amongst the inhabitants, and was still destroying 
numbers daily. The sheik or chief took great' 
interest in my recommendation to inoculate from 
the cow-pox, and several times put the question to 



)bBP 



WESTERN AFRICA. 145 

me, whether I could not myself perform the 
operation, and instruct his doctors, of whom he 
has a great number. I excused myself for want of 
n\aterial, or matter. The inhabitants vary very 
much in colour, which proves the undoubted 
mixture of the tribes from distant countries. The 
greater part of the inhabitants of Sagbo are very 
dark, tall, and well formed. The general develop- 
ment of their cranium is good; they are very 
keen traders, cheerful and affable, and nearly all 
Mahomedans. 

I was, as usual, obliged to draw on my little 
stock, which was now fast diminishing, and to give 
a few needles and a thimble, as well as a Jew's 
harp, to the chief, who deemed the Jew's harp a 
wonderful piece of consecrated iron. We then 
recommenced our journey, the country bearing the 
same very pleasant aspect, and with trees a little 
larger than I had met with during my last four 
days' journey. 

After a rather tiresome march, we arrived, at 
thirty-eight miles, at the town of Jakee. The 
chief of this town is subject to the chief of Sagbo, 
who directs or governs six large towns in his own 
locality. It appeared that a private messenger 
had been despatched from Sagbo to inform the 
chief of this town of my coming. The same 

VOL. II. H 



146 TRAVELS IK 

messenger was with the chief of Jakee when he met 
me half a mile from the town. The old man received 
me with marked courtesy, and without much 
ceremony we were conducted into his courtyard. 

As it was getting late, and we had expressed 
our intention of remaining all night, the chief 
readily showed us an apartment or hut, in his own 
court-yard, where we were to repose for the night; 
and upon our informing him of our long journey, 
he seemed to sympathize with us, and in a great 
measure dispensed with the usual palaver, but 
joined us in our quarters, where he seemed de- 
lighted to receive information respecting white 
man's country, and also of the country we had 
passed .through. He expressed his great surprise 
that aman should venture so far from his home 
and relations, and run the risk of casualties in 
so many strange lands. This man had by some 
means heard of the unfortunate Niger expedition, 
probably from Terrasso-weea, with whom he has 
been long acquainted. He took great interest in 
the trade of his own town, and expressed a great 
desire to know by what means he might increase 
it. We were rather annoyed during the early 
part of the evening by numerous curious visitors 
who came to have a peep at us, and some watch- 
fulness was required, though we had little to be 



WB8TERN AFRICA. 147 

robbed of; however, it was the more necessary 
to preserve the little we had got 

30th July. — ^Early in the morning we were 
aroused by the ringing of a number of bells or 
gong-gongs, which, in accordance with an ancient 
custom, are rung round the town every morning 
at day-break to apprise the inhabitants that it is 
time to get up. These gong-gongs are used also 
to give the alarm in case of any sudden attack 
•upon the town. As soon as this procession had 
passed, the chief paid us a visit, and inquired 
Tery kindly after our health. We were supplied 
with a quantity of the juice of the sugar-cane, and 
«ome meal mixed with it, about the consistence 
of gruel. Upon this we made a hearty breakfast, 
with the addition of some round balls, about the 
size of a potato, made from an under-ground 
bean, which is very abundant in this country. 
This bean is ground into meal and made into 
round balls. It is then fried in an earthen pot 
with palm-oil, and used for food. It is of a toler-- 
ably good flavour. 

After distributing some needles and Jew's 
harps, we recommenced our journey. During this 
day our bearing varied from N. 25° W. to 12°, 
35% 40% and 22° N. towards W. At six miles 
we arrived at a small market on the path for 

H 2 



148 TRAVELS IN 

the sale of provisions to travellers. Here they 
also sold water, which is at all times a bad omen 
for travellers, as showing its scarcity. We secured 
a calabash filled with water for a paper of needles, 
which seemed to take well in this part of the 
country. We were, however, happily mistaken 
in our fears respecting water in this instance, for, 
at ten miles, we arrived at a small village called 
Kiroaso, where we found plenty of good water. 
This kroom is famous for its tan-pits and dye- 
vats: the inhabitants of several towns at a dis- 
tance visit this place for the purpose of dyeing 
their cloths and thread. Besides the indigo, they 
have a yellow and red colour which they manu- 
facture, with which they dye both leather and 
cloth. Here the natives carve quantities of 
wooden bowls out of the cotton-tree with con- 
siderable taste. They seemed much alarmed at 
our presence, many of them running away upon 
our approach. As soon, however, as they learned 
that we were friends, they returned and would 
soon have become too familiar. We remained 
here only a short time, and then resumed our 
journey; and, at nineteen miles, arrived at the 
Kabra Mountains, along the sides of which we 
travelled, passing several small krooms or towns 
at their base, some of which we entered. 



wi^ama^^!^asamai^^:pw^pm:^ifswmiemmmfm^'^r^'^f^^fm^^tW^sigaeKmssiK==\M ■ ai,, j ^ , ■■■■■_'^*r %.- ^ 



WESTERN AFRICA. 149 

' We found here several chalybeate springs, 
strongly impregnated with carbonate of iron of a 
deep orange colour. At twenty-five miles we ar- 
rived at the river Jenoo. This river is navigable 
by large canoes at all seasons of the year. It 
runs to the eastward^ and is fordable at this 
season by persons on foot, not exceeding three 
feet and a half deep, with sandy bottom, and not 
more than twelve yards wide, with a current not 
exceeding two miles per hour. Fish, however, 
are not very abundant, as the natives are unac- 
quainted with the method of catching them; I 
observed, therefore, very few for sale. It is 
rather singular that the conchology of aU the 
inland rivers in this part of Africa is very limited, 
a sort of mussel being the only shell which I ob- 
served. 

Of the crustaceous tribes a sort of shrimp or 
prawn is the only thing I noticed. The land- 
tortoise, however, is abundant on the banks of 
rivers, and is used by the natives for food. 
Having halted a short time after crossing the 
river, we again resumed our journey, passing 
amongst some beautiful shrubs and sweet-scented 
climbing plants^ whose blossoms spread a sweet 
odour for a considerable distance. We marched 
some miles through this interesting panorama 



150 TBAVELS m 

before we again reached the open plun« Here the 
soil again assamed a lighter colour, of a gravelly 
nature, and studded with trees of yarious kinds. 
The soil and small brooks still proved the presence 
of iron. 

At thirty-four miles we arrived at the town of 
Kallakandi. Here we were tolerably well re- 
ceived by the sheik, or gadadoo, who seems in- 
trusted with the government of a certain district 
of considerable extent. It appeared that he had 
only obtained intelligence of our approach a little 
while previous to our arrival, and was therefore 
flurried, and a little cautious and reserved 
in receiving us ; but being acquainted with our 
object of overtaking Terrasso-weea, he became at 
once familiar, and informed us that he had occu- 
pied, with all his retinue, the very quarters as- 
signed to me for the night. 

We entered into conversation or palaver, which 
continued until dark. He seemed very intelli- 
gent, and had by his own account been at Tim- 
buctoo, and gave exactly the same account of 
the place as the Mahomedan priest at Abomey, 
who stated he had accompanied Terrasso-weea 
thither. The sheik very kindly sent us two 
ducks of the Muscovy breed to cook for our 
supper, as also two yams and some com, with 



■Q^B^n 



WESTERN AFRICA. 151 

plenty of good water. He again joined us after 
supper, seeming eager to obtain information. 
A.t length he proposed to retire, which was 
very agreeable to us, for we were very tired. 
He promised to call us early in the morning, to 
w^hich arrangement he was very punctual, for cer- 
tainly he aroused us some time sooner than we 
wished. This being market-morning, the town 
was all bustle. 

Soon after we had been aroused by the gadadoo, 
we were visited by a band of singing women, 
who were accompanied by musicians, with instru- 
ments very similar to our German flute, made 
from the hollow cane and bottle-shaped gourds, 
with the pulpy part taken out and dried, with, 
hundreds of human teeth strung together like 
beads, and loosely fastened like net-work over 
the gourd, which were shaken in the hand, keeping 
time to the other instruments used in the native 
bands of music : a similar instrument is used in 
Dahomey. Prostration on addressing a superior 
is common here, though they do not rub them- 
selves with dust as in Dahomey or the Mahee 
country. I took a short ramble round the town 
and market-places, both the outer and inner. 

Here I had an opportunity of observing the 
articles of commerce exposed for sale, which. 



152 TRAVELS IN 

however, differed very little from those I have 
abready mentioned in other places. Smiths' work 
is done here in a superior manner to most other 
towns I have visited. Axes and bill-hooks are 
made here ; the axe is made to fit into the handle, 
instead of the handle into the axe, the crown or 
pole of the axe being made like a spike, and 
driven into a hole passed through the end of the 
handle. They are also excellent farmers. The 
weavers also display considerable taste in the 
manufacture of a peculiar sort of cloth I have 
not observed elsewhere but in Abomey. 

Slaves were exposed in the outer market in 
great numbers, and early in the morning con- 
siderable numbers had changed owners. Sheep, 
goats, and oxen, are numerous, and very hand* 
some. Horses are handsome also, but small, few 
exceeding thirteen hands high. Pigeons are nu- 
merous in this town, and are of various kinds. 
The vulture is common in all the towns in this 
country. The government may be said to be 
quite despotic, for though a certain power is pre- 
tended to be vested in the chief malaam, or 
minister, still every objection is overruled in 
acquiescence with the will of the sovereign. 

Offenders against the laws are punished accord- 
ing to the estimated enormity of their crimes, 



'.-■-■ *** ■■ . ■■ . « — ■ JP« ^1 I ■ .^^ 



WESTERN AFRICA. 153 

by flagellation or Imprisonment in irons, and 
labour in the fields ; but all serious offences, such 
as those against the king, murder, and adultery 
with the wives of superiors, are punished by 
death and torture of the most barbarous de- 
scription. Sometimes a pole, about six feet long, is 
prepared, with an iron hose fixed on the end of 
it; the iron being tapered to a long spike. This 
spike is made red-hot, and the culprit, being 
suddenly seized, is placed on his head with his 
legs or feet upwards. The spike, while red-hot, is 
passed into the lower part of his person and the 
bowels, and even to the crown of his head.* This 
mode of torture is only resorted to in cases of 
adultery with the king's or malaam's wives. Some- 
times another mode of torture for similar offences 
is resorted to, equally barbarous and cruel — that 
of mutilation, and placing it in the mouth of the 
offender. 

After promising to make a longer stay on my 
return, I marched from Kallakandi, this being the 
31st of July, bearing N. 22° westward; during the 
day's journey varying from 22" to 5% 10", 5% and 
12" degrees to westward. The country near 
the town was well cultivated. At seven miles we 

^ This cruel punishment is also common at Lagos. 

h3 



154 TRAVELS IN 

crossed a narrow rirer ranning eastward ; and at 
twelve miles arrived at the town of Gooba. This 
is also a great market for the sale and purchase of 
slaves. Here salt is sold^ but at a very high price, 
though of a very coarse and dirty description* 

The town is governed by a malaam, named Dibo 
or Dibbo. He, however, is imder the directions 
of the gadadoo of Kallakandi. The inhabitants of 
this town are about seven thousand in number, 
and seem a mixture of many tribes, which is easily 
detected by the cranium, independent of the par- 
ticular marks or scars on the face to distinguish 
each tribe from the other. They seem to live in 
ease and plenty, having little trouble in cultivating 
the soil, which here produces four crops in the year 
of several sorts of grain. 

We remained here only a short time, when, after 
making a present of a pair of small scissors for 
some water, with which we were presented, we 
resumed our journey. At fourteen miles, while 
crossing a swamp of no great magnitude, we were 
met by a number of women, heavily laden with dif- 
ferent articles of produce for the market which we 
had just left. They were accompanied by several 
men, who walked in the rear. The women we 
found had been much alarmed a minute before, 
but seemed still more so at meeting me, some of 



WESTERN AFRICA. ' 155^ 

the younger women endeayouring to pass into the 
thick impenetrable hush, which extended about 
half a mile along each side of the path. The men 
also seemed much alarmed, and the older of them, 
who were armed with bows and arrows, prepared 
themselves for an attack. However, they pre- 
ferred submission, prostrating themselves as we 
passed. I requested them to rise, and after asking 
them how they were, they informed us of the ex- 
treme danger of passing any farther, till an enor- 
mous snake which they had just met should retire. 
They stated that this reptile had taken up his posi- 
tion in a large tamarind-tree, whence they said he 
had been in all probability compelled to retreat 
after a combat with a panther, which they said 
invariably practised one particular mode of attack. 
Whenever they come unexpectedly upon one of 
these reptiles, they pounce upon its tail, and thus 
prevent it from coiling itself round its prey* 
Then with its claw it secures the head, which is 
immediately brought round to release its tail. 
However, I never witnessed an attack of this 
sort, and must leave my readers to judge of the 
truth of this assertion. One of the party offered 
to go back and show us the enormous snake, 
and several others of the party volunteered their 
services also. 



156 TRAVELS IN 

Accordingly we proceeded about six hundred 
yardfl^ when we arrived at the velvet tamarind- 
tree^ which they had spoken of, and which was 
thickly covered with leaves ; but upon examining 
the tree we could not observe anything of the 
nature described. When I was just upon the 
point of accusing them of hoaxing us, one of them,, 
who stood a little behind my horse, suddenly 
called out *Svaroo-waroo,^ upon which one of 
my soldiers seized my bridle to pull my horse 
aside, and to my amazement the monster was 
pointed out to me with part of its body coiled 
round a bough, and its head and a considerable 
part of its body hanging down very near our 
heads. 

It appeared this reptile had descended the tama- 
rind, and had ascended a much larger tree of a 
different description. I immediately dismounted, 
and unstrapped my double-barrelled carbine, 
which was heavily charged, one barrel with swan- 
shot, and the other with smaller shot. The snake 
was certainly of enormous dimensions, and re- 
mained quite motionless. I took a steady aim at 
the neck, just behind its head, and fired the 
charge of slugs effectually, though for some time 
it seemed to have but a slight effect upon it, for 
it raised its head, and coiled the fore-part of the 



WESTERN AFRICA, 157 

body round another branch of the tree ; but the 
spine being injured, it soon appeared to lose 
strength, and the tail, which was coiled round a 
limb, began to relax. It again uncoiled its fore- 
part, which hung down towards the ground. I 
then took mj sword, which I had sharpened equal 
to a razor, and cut the head off at one stroke ; but 
even then the people would not venture to touch 
it with their hands to pull it down, till I 'gave 
them a piece of small cord, which I invariably 
canned in my pocket. This was fastened round 
the body, and they then succeeded in pulling it 
down. 

The monster was of the boa tribe, and measured 
thirty-one feet long, but the natives told me they 
had seen them much larger. My gun and sword 
excited great astonishment amongst the strangers, 
who were very anxious again to hear the noise. 
They seemed to fancy that it was the noise which 
killed the object the muzzle of the gun was 
directed towards ; this I did not contradict. Here 
we were detained nearly an hour, when we again 
commenced our march, I and my people keeping a 
cautious look-out lest some more of our late 
antagonist's companions might be in our imme- 
diate neighbourhood. 

We were soon clear of the bush, and our 



158 TRAVELfi m 

adveuture speedily forgotten. At sixteen miles 
we arrived at a small kroom^ the houses of which 
were all built of a circular form, the walls 
covered with a deep red claj, and many of the 
principal houses ornamented with different figures 
and hieroglyphics. The chief manufacture in this 
kroom is earthen pots of a superior description 
and jet-black polish. Pipes, or rather pipe-heads^ 
are also manufactured here, though little tobacco 
reaches this place ; but I learned that these pipes 
are sent even to Badagry. Their form is like the 
meerschaum. The natives also manufacture a very 
ingenious sort of lamp, in which palm-oil is used. 

The chief of this kroom had in his possession a 
pot which attracted my notice. It was of copper, 
and evidently of Spanish manufacture. It had 
been in the possession of his family, it appeared, for 
many years, but he could not inform me from 
whom they had obtained it. There exists in this 
neighbourhood a species of small black deer, not 
larger than a small English terrier, some of which 
are here domesticated like the goat. 

The country also abounds with larger deer of 
different descriptions, one of which I this day had 
the satisfaction of shooting, having cautiously 
crept behind a bush very near to him. There 
were a doe and fawn of the same description, at a 



WESTERN AFRICA. 159 

short distance, grazing. This chance would have 
supplied us with plenty of venison for consumption 
for several days could we have kept it fresh. 
What we did not require the first day we broiled 
in the smoke, and kept it very well for the second 
day. This is the method adopted by the natives 
in drying and preserving both meat and fish. 
Even when a human head is desired to be pre- 
served^ the brains are extracted through the spinal 
connexion and the head held on the end of a 
stick in the smoke till it becomes quite hard and 
dry^ I have seen some thousands preserved in 
this way in Dahomey. 

Wild carnivorous animals are very numerous 
here, and often make awful havoc amongst the 
stock of cattle, though traps of various inventions 
are employed (some of which would do credit to 
English ingenuity) to destroy them. An immense 
beam, with long spikes of hard wood fixed in it, is 
suspended about seven feet higL This beam rests 
on a pivot at each end. When the animal passes 
under and between the two pivots, he treads upon 
a lever which throws the beam oflF the pivots, and 
it falls wil3i full weight on the animal, forcing the 
spikes their full length into its body. They have 
also man-traps of a very singular construction: 
these, though simple, are the most efiicient I ever 



160 TRAVELS m 

saw. They are always placed in situations where 
none but trespassers can be injured. This trap is 
generally set in a fence^ so that a person climbing 
over must come in contact with a certain part of 
it, which secures a piece of wood connected with 
another of about seyen feet long, which latter is 
bent about two feet out of its natural position. 
The slightest touch releases this, and the spring 
resumes its natural position in a moment. In 
doing so it strikes the intruder on the shins with 
such violence as frequently to break both legs. 

At twenty-six miles we arrived at the town of 
Ongo, where we found the chief awaiting our 
arrival, about half a mile out of the town, with a 
number of horsemen and spearmen. Upon per- 
ceiving us he immediately advanced towards us at 
a gallop, the spearmen keeping pace with the 
others, though on foot. When within a few yards 
of us the whole cavalcade suddenly halted, and 
the chief and his principal officers dismounted, 
and all, except himself, prostrated themselves, 
remaining in that position till they were told to 
rise. The chief merely held out his hand, re- 
peating the words, ^^ Sinou, sinou," which means, 
Hov) are you f — how are you ? — and gave my hand 
a hearty shake, bidding us welcome to his town. 
He said he had been made aware of our approach, 



WESTERN AFRICA. 161 

and had prepared himself to meet us. He declared 
himself glad to see a white man. Terrasso-weea, 
he stated^ was his particular friend, 'and had a 
white man with him, but not a proper white man 
like myself. He told me that Terrasso-weea's 
trading party were all good men, and were his 
brothers, meaning that they were all Mahomedans. 

Here we remained to cook some provisions.- 
We were fortunate enough to obtain in exchange 
for a pair of scissors some good yams and a small 
grass bag of rice, containing about a pound. We 
also got plenty of water, which was tolerably 
good, but of a bitterish taste. This is frequently 
the case when the water is stagnant, and a certain 
sort of wood grows on its margin. Whether this 
is injurious or not I am not able to say, as I did 
not experience any evil effects myself, nor any of 
my party, from its use. The country now became 
delightful, and the monotony of a dreary plain was 
relieved at intervals by table mountains in various 
directions, nearly all of one height, not exceeding 
nine thousand feet. 

This place is neatly built for an African town, 
and with considerable regularity of formation as 
regards the market-places for the sale of different 
commodities. The houses are very clean, and are 
ornamented with various designs, similar to those 



162 TBAVELS IN 

I have just deecribed. The horse^ as I have 
akeady said^ invariably forms a part o£ the family^ 
and is treated much better than on the coast, 
where they are not bred, but brought from the 
interior. Even here, however, many of the poor 
animals are very lean for want of sufficient food, 
as they are always tied by the foot, and are never 
allowed their liberty. 



WESTERN AFRICA, 163 



CHAPTER VIL 

Ongo — Weariness of my Attendants — Bivouac — ^Alarm of my 
Horse at the Neighbourhood of Wild Beasts — Terror of the 
Katives — Their Kindness — Establishment for Mahomedan 
Converts — Singular Custom — My Anxiety to find Terrasso- 
weea, who had been present at the Death of Mungo Park — 
Loss of my Sand-glass — Its Construction-^ Adofoodia — The 
Market-Place — Reception by the King — Interview with Ter- 
rasso-weea — Ceremony of welcoming me — His Stores — Dis- 
covery of an Old Acquaintance — Karrative of his Adventures 
— Terrasso-weea's House — His Wives — Inquire of him Particu- 
lars of the Fate of Mungo Park — His Relation of the Death 
of that Intrepid Traveller — Terrasso-weea an Eye Witness of 
it — Park's Property seiied by the King — His Despotic Cha* 
racter — Flight of Terrasso-weea — My Palaver with the King 
•—Hospitality of the Merchant— Information obtained re- 
specting Timbuctoo — Market of Adofoodia. 

After leaving the town of Ongo we were 
met by several women carrying fowls and water 
yams. Some of these we were fortunate enough 
to purchase, in exchange for some needles and 
thimbles. We had now an excellent stock of 
provision, and we kept the fowls alive till we 
should require them for consumption. My poor 
fellows began to complain much of sore feet and 
fatigue, telling me that "black master only want 
man go long way when he make war one day^ 



164 TRAVELS IN 

but white man make poor black man walk plentj 
every day till him belly sore; then soon black 
man die." No doubt my poor fellows were ex- 
tremely tired, as I was myself, though I rode 
more than half the distance. I felt much for 
them, and sometimes showed them the wound on 
my leg, and asked them how they could com- 
plain when a white man, and in their hot country, 
could stand the march with such a wound; but 
their reply was invariably, ** White man different 
to black man; black man lie down and die, suppose 
his leg bad like mineJ" 

At thirty-three miles I proposed to encamp for 
the night. This proposal was readily assented to 
by my tired companions. We accordingly selected 
a convenient spot at some little distance from the 
path, where we kindled a fire, having plenty of 
wood close at hand. We soon prepared a good 
mess, and having also cut some grass for my 
horse, and given him a few heads of corn, which 
we had saved from the previous night, we all began, 
like the natives, to eat at the same table, and in a 
short time fell fast asleep. Having left a good 
fire, we were not afraid of wild beasts approaching 
us while the fire continued to burn brightly, but 
serpents are very apt to come where there is fire. 
In fact, the natives often make large fires for the 
purpose of attracting a certain species of snake. 



WESTERN AFRICA. 165 

which, when the fire Is extinguished, feast greedily 
on the ashes. 

Though snakes did not trouble us, we were, 
however, about midnight, suddenly alarmed by the 
snorting and pawing of my horse, who actually 
bit my foot, to which he was tied, purposely to 
awaken me. To our great surprise we found that 
the horse's alarm had been caused by a large 
species of wolf, which had no doubt been attracted 
by the smell of the horse, which had observed it 
prowling in our inmiediate neighbourhood ; there 
it still remained, making at intervals most tre- 
mendous howls. I fired off one of my pistols ; after 
which we heard no more of him, but took our 
position nearer to the fire. I was soon compelled 
to change my position, however, for my horse 
having a propensity for scratching the fire abroad, 
scraped some of the fire amongst us, burning some 
of our clothes. Notwithstanding this we were 
again soon asleep, and had a tolerably good rest 
until day-break. 

I now found one of my Sierra Leone men 
shivering violently from great fatigue, the heavy 
dew, and the considerable quantity of rain which 
had also fallen in the former part of the night. 
I felt rather chilly myself, and sick at the stomach, 
but dared not let my men know it, lest they should 
be disheartened. I gave the poor fellow some 



166 TRAVBLS m 

quinine^ and also took some myself. In an hour 
afterwards I gave him some James's powder, and 
twenty drops of Battley's sedative of opium, which 
soon caused lum to throw out a copious perspiration, 
and the shiyering entirely ceased. Owing to this 
circumstance we did not commence our journey 
till we had breakfasted. Having a small calabash 
of native honey, which we had carried with us in 
case of illness, I put a portion of it in some hot 
water, but having no meal we were obliged to use 
water and honey alone. This materially aided the 
medicine in promoting perspiration, and we were 
soon all right again. 

On the 1st of August we again resumed our 
journey, bearing N., and varying during this day's 
journey to 10* towards W., in expectation of 
soon seeing our long-wished-for friend. This 
morning's march seemed rather irksome, as we 
proceeded full ten miles without meeting any 
person of whom to inquire which was the right 
path; and several by-paths communicating with 
the direct one, we were not aware which to 
select. Fortunately we had taken the right 
path, by choosing the one apparently most beaten, 
as we found by inquiry of a party whom we over- 
took at the crossing of a path, resting under 
the shade of a large tree. They seemed much 
alarmed, and several of them fled, leaving be- 



WESTERN AFRICA. 167 

hind them the loads they were carryiBg to mar- 
ket ; but when they found that we were friends, 
they soon returned, and seemed pleased to find that 
we were not robbers, as they at first took us to be. 

We sat down under the tree, and entered into 
conversation, when we ascertained that this party 
were going in the same direction as ourselves, to a 
town some few miles distant. The principal of 
their load were yams and manioc, koUa-nuts and 
grdund beans, plantains and bananas, the latter 
of which one old woman ventured to ask my in- 
terpreter if I would partake of, which of course 
I readily accepted ; and she also gave my men 
some each. In return I gave her a paper of 
needles. The rest of the party were then anxious 
to make me a dashy as they call it, upon the same 
conditions ; but as we had now sufficient, we de- 
clined to accept of any more. We soon resumed 
our journey, marching in single file. The women, 
as they went along, began singing a song, to 
which they all kept good time. This seemed to 
give fresh animation to my men, and we went 
along for a short time as gaily as if we had been 
in the Dahoman kingdom. 

At thirteen miles, we arrived at a small town, 
or kroom, where there is a large establishment, 
a sort of convent or residence, for Mahomedan 
converts, who have either voluntarily or com- 



168 TRAVELS IN 

pulsorily renounced the Pagan worship. These 
individuals are never suffered to come outside 
of the walls till they have strictly conformed 
in every particular with the Mahomedan religion 
for the space of thirteen moons, when they are 
set at liberty, so far as to enjoy the privileges of 
the other inhabitants; but should they attempt 
to leave the country for any other kingdom, and 
be captured any time afterwards, they are sure to 
be put to death. These individuals are all distin- 
guished by a certain mark, which is cut on the 
face, in addition to the mark of the tribe to which 
they belong. 

A singular form exists in passing by this esta- 
blishment. All persons must walk past on their 
bare feet, or if they wear sandals, they must take 
them off while they pass ; and if riding on horse- 
back, or carried in any other way, they must dis- 
mount and walk; nor must they look back till 
quite past the prescribed mark, when the passers- 
by are again allowed to mount and proceed. All 
traders carrying a certain quantity of goods are 
obliged to pay a toll or duty, which goes towards 
the support of this establishment. Any evasion or 
breach of these rules is punished by flagellation 
and forfeiture of the whole of the goods in their 
possession. We were not allowed to enter, but 
every inquiry respecting the establishment was 



WESTERN AFRICA. 169 

answered; but whether the account given was 
true or false, I am unable to determine. 

The inmates are permitted to work at their trade, 
whatcT^r it may be, and are allowed the price of 
their labour, besides their subsistence while they 
are within the walls. They are constantly at- 
tended by priests, who visit the towns and mar- 
kets within a certain distance, and there levy 
contributions upon all articles of consumption, as 
well as a duty which they demand upon cloths 
and ornaments, for the support of their establish- 
ment. No doubt a great share of this sort of 
plunder falls to themselves. Our company of trad- 
ing-women left us here. 

After partaking of some refreshment we again 
marched. No man could experience more anxiety 
than I did myself during this part of my journey ; 
for the next town we reached would decide the 
success of the object I had in view. Many were 
the doubts and fears that assailed me. Some- 
times I thought Terrasso-weea might have gone 
on, and have taken another direction ; and again, 
even if he were there, perhaps my information 
at Abomey respecting Mimgo Park might be 
incorrect, and Terrasso-weea might know nothing 
of the circumstances about which I was inter- 
ested. At other times my spirits were buoyed 
VOL. n. I 



/ 



170 TRAVELS IN 

up with the idea of seeing the white man^ as he 
was represented to be. But, again, the thought of, 
returning to Dahomey, and of incurring the King's 
displeasure, who had been my best friend, and 
perhaps, also, of being instrumental in causing 
the caboceer of my guard, an excellent man, to 
lose his head, oppressed me. However, to balance 
this trouble, I had the consolation of having 
visited a country which I should not otherwise 
have seen; for even if I should survive the 
climate and dangers incident to travellers in so 
barbarous a country, I might not again have an 
opportunity of visiting it. 

While thus absorbed in varied reflections I had 
forgotten my sand-glass, by which I measured the 
distance we marched, but my poor fellows had 
been long accustomed to call out the number of 
quarters, or glasses, which I caused every man to 
do aloud immediately after myself. My glass was 
of a very simple construction. I took two small 
phials, which had contained peppermint essence, 
which had been given to me by an American 
captain. I measured my sand by time ; then, 
when I had ascertained the proper quantity, I 
poured out the remainder from the opposite phial, 
and again secured the piece of tin between the 
mouths of the phials, sealing them both together 



WESTERN AFRICA. 171' 

hermeticallj^ and fixing them lengthwise iiito a 
piece of palm stem, hollowed out oa one eide, 
leaving one aide of the phials e^cpoeed. This al- 
lowed m^ to observe when the glass was rnn out 
The moment we halted any where I slipped the 
strings which was attached to each end, and hung 
about my neck/ a little round, so as to place the 
glasses in a horizontal position, and stop their run- 
ning until I again commenced marching. 

On our journey we overtook numbers of people, 
the female portion of whom were all heavily laden 
with goods for the market of Adofoodia. Some 
we met returning, who had already been there and 
disposed of their goods* Even these people were 
aware of our coming, and informed us that the 
King had told his people that I should be there 
9<Hne time in the forenoon. This was considered 
by his subjects as an act of great condescension 
on his part, as affording them an opportunity of 
seeing a white man — a sight they had nev^r 
witnessed. 

At twenty-eight miles we arrived at the 
anxiously-wished-for town of Adofoodia, which is 
situated on a dry healthy plain, with a rich red soil, 
the surface of a sandy nature, as if it had been carried 
over the surface by water, at some remote period- 
We were met by the King and his principal nqieiu 

i2 



172 TRAVELS IN 

at s litde distance from the outer gates. This 
town Is unlike many others ; for it is not fenced with 
the pricklj bush I have before mentioned^ though 
it is partially enclosed by clumps of large shrubs, 
mixed with cotton and palm-trees. 

The town is surrounded by a very thick clay 
wall, about eighteen feet high. The outer market 
is held in a large open space on the left after 
entering the southern gate. It is shaded with 
large trees, having leaves measuring nine inches 
across, and about twelve in length. As soon as 
we entered the market thousands came running 
anxious to see us, which would inevitably have 
caused great confusion, had royal power not been 
exercised to maintain order. We had abeady 
told the King our principal object in visiting his 
country. He had the courtesy immediately to 
take us to that part of the market (which was 
some distance) where Terrasso-weea had his goods 
laid out on large square pieces of carpet, evidently 
of European manufacture, though of a pattern I 
had never before seen. 

At a few yards from this spot we were de- 
sired to halt, and the King's chief messenger was 
sent forward to acquaint Terrasso-weea with our 
arrival. However, he had been already made 
awar^ of the fiu5t, and had retired to his quarters 



WESTERN AFRICA, 173 

to change his tobe. The messenger soon arrived, 
accompanied bj Terrasso-weea, who prostrated 
himself before the King, who was on my right 
and a little in advance. The King politely in- 
formed him that he had taken upon himself to 
introduce to him a stranger who had come to see 
him from a far country. Whereupon the merchant 
again prostrated himself and kissed the ground. 
Then he arose and walked slowly towards me, 
holding out his hand with a smile of satisfaction 
beaming in his venerable countenance. He said 
he was truly happy to see me. It was, he said, the 
second time he had seen a white man in the course 
of his life. The merchant took from a leather wal- 
let, or spohran, hanging in front of his dress, similar 
to that of a Highlander of Scotland, a small book 
written in Persian- Arabic. From this he read some 
form of welcome. He then begged the King's leave 
to depart, which his Majesty, with every show of 
politeness, agreed to, at the same time remarking 
that it was his right to have the first of my com- 
pany, being the principal object of my journey. 
After a little time he should certainly claim the 
privilege of a palaver with the white man. 

We were then desired by the merchant to fol- 
low him. He first led us to his stalls in the mar- 
ket, by the side of one of which was seated, cross- 



174 TRAVELS IN 

legged, a dark swarthy man, but not much darker 
than some of the Spaniards residing at Whydah. 
I was struck with the expression and quick in- 
telligent eye of this man, and could not help 
fancying that I had seen the same individual at 
some previous period. The man eye4 me for 
some minutes with great interest, and at last 
suddenly advanced towards me, holding out 
both his hands, and clasping his arms round 
waist. 

I did not much relish this sort of embrace from 
a stranger; but, by his expression, I could observe 
that the salute was friendly. He then passed his 
hands down each side, pressing my person gently, 
in a similar manner to the searchers in the docks* 
Then he explained himself, to my great though 
agreeable surprise. He proved to be a merchant 
whom I met with when we were at the town of 
Egga with the late unfortunate Niger expedition. 
He was then accompanied by another man, and 
was on a trading tour from Kabba, attending the 
market at Egga. I was invited by the malaam of 
Egga to dine with him, for he invites all strangers 
to take refreshment. It was in his house that I 
met these two individuals, who seemed quite 
delighted to meet me. They stated themselves to 
be natives of Tripoli. 



:w^ 



WESTERN AFRICA. 175 

This man possessed great intelligence^ and 
seemed anxious to afford any information likely 
to be interesting to me. He informed me that his 
companion was still at Kabba, trading from thence 
to Bornou. He was himself employed by Ter- 
rasso-weea. While thus engaged in conversa- 
tion^ a tall fine-looking man advanced towards us^ 
with a very pleasing and expressive smile on his 
countenance. To my great astonishment^ this 
man made me a bow^ and addressed me^ first in 
Spanish and then in English. j 

I can scarcely remember any occurrence In my 
lifetime that gave me, for the moment, more plea- 
sure than this ; such an incident being so little anti- 
cipated by me in a region so distant from civilized 
intercourse. This poor fellow gave me a brief but 
interesting accoimt of himself, which I here set 
down in as few words as possible. He was a native 
of Bornou, but, in the wars^ was taken and sold as 
a slave. From one party to another he was dis- 
posed of, till he was brought to Whydah, where 
he remained some months, and was well treated. 
He was then shipped from thence to Bahia, and 
remained there as a slave for the space of twenty- 
one years. During ten years of that period he 
was principal or head cook to the firm of Boothby 
and Johnston, of Liverpool. 



176 TRAVELS IN 

When I told him I was well acquainted with 
Liverpool^ he seemed quite delighted, and ex- 
pressed great anxiety to accompany me thither. 
He spoke very highly of his former masters, 
and of the time of his bondage as the happiest 
days of his life. I asked him how he came to 
leave them. He informed me that he was libe- 
rated at the emancipation of slaves held by British 
subjects, and that the early dreams of his child- 
hood were still so strongly imprinted on his 
memory that he preferred visiting his birth-place 
to remaining a hired servant in Bahia. Well, he 
returned in a Brazilian schooner to Whydah, 
where he was landed, and there fell in with sever 
ral of his acquaintances of Bahia. 
' At Whydah he remained some months, then 
went to the Yarriba country, and after some 
months arrived at his native town. But now the 
spell was broken, and all his happy dreams of more 
than twenty years had vanished. His native town 
had twice been burnt down by the enemy, and 
was chiefly inhabited by strangers from a far 
country. He was now an obscure stranger, and 
looked upon with suspicion, and his long-cherished 
home was to him a desolate waste. With a 
lonely heart, he again turned from the place, and 
when on his journey, intending to return to the 



Arf- 



T — .' 



WESTERN AFRICA. 177 

t^oast, and to Bahia if possible^ he happened to 
meet Terrasso-weea, at a town where he was 
trading. He was readily employed, and had since 
travelled a great deal in different directions with 
his master, whom he described to be an excellent 
man. Before leaying my friend I ought to mention 
that he wrote his name, and described in Spanish 
the time he remained in slavery, and also the 
names of Boothby and Johnston. The date of his 
liberation is also noted. I have this paper still in 
my possession. 

To return to Terrasso-weea, who had retired to 
a short distance as soon as my Bahia friend had 
entered into conversation with me. Observing 
a pause in our conversation he again came up to 
me, and shewed me all his goods in the market. 
He had a great number of carriers, who convey 
the goods on their heads. This was the only 
place where I had seen the camel used for burden 
since leaving Tangiers. Terrasso-weea had eight 
of these animals, besides a great number of 
men. 

The afternoon was now far advanced, and in 
consequence of my presence Terrasso-weea ordered 
all his goods to be taken into his stores ; so that an 
opportunity might be afforded my friends, as well 
as himself, of a palaver with a white man. Terrasso- 

i3 



178 TRAVELS IN 

weea then invited me to his house^ which was 
always occupied by some of his wives and an agents 
whether he were present or not. His dwelling and 
those of his domestics formed a quadrangle of con- 
siderable extent. His own apartment was richly 
ornamented with various rude designs^ painted in 
different colours upon the walls. Curiously carved 
«tools were placed around the apartment, and a 
clay couch, which was covered with several finely 
worked mats of varied colours, over which was 
a richly worked native wove cloth, bordered 
with a fringe of red and yellow silk. He was less 
scrupulous than most Africans as regards the 
introduction of his wives, though probably more 
with a view to gratify their curiosity than my 
own. Some of them were considered as very 
handsome Africans, although they varied very 
much in colour. A great many of them were 
Bomouese. 

After drinking water with the merchant, I 
Jianded him the paper entrusted to me by the 
Mahomedan priest at Abomey. Upon this he 
immediately started to his feet, and seemed almost 
frantic with joy. At the receipt of the epistle, 
which was written in the Persian - Arabic, I 
availed myself of this opportunity to inform him 
of my object in coming to this country: but the 



WESTERN AFRICA. 179 

perusal of the note had already made him aware 
that the object of mj inquiry was to learn some- 
thing respecting the fate of the lamented Mungo 
Park. He said he was anxious to give me all the 
information in his power respecting the death of 
that intrepid traveller. His account I shall here 
narrate as nearly as possible as he related . it 
to me. 

Terrasso-weea stated, that when he was a young 
man and living in Yaouri, with the king of that 
place« as third malaam, or priest, a very tall white 
man came down the great river Joleeba, having a 
very large canoe, the centre covered over with 
matting in the form of a teia^^-. He was accom« 
panied by several black men, and had one sheep 
and several goats, with a few fowls, in the canoe, 
which they carried with them for food. Amongst 
the crew was one man, a native of the neighbour-^ 
hood of Yaouri, whose name was Amadi Fatuma. 
This man had accompanied Mungo Park from a 
town at a considerable distance higher up the river, 
where he had gone with a trading caravan. As 
soon as this man arrived at Yaouri, his native 
place, he of course left the canoe, but had pre-, 
viously received payment. This cunning fellow 
advised Park to stop at Yaouri to purchase some 
necessary provisions, declaring that he could 



180 TRAVELS IN 

procure them cheaper by his assistance. Park 
accordingly went on shore^ and was introduced to 
the King, who supplied him with what he required 
for subsistence, for which he paid him his full 
demand. 

Soon after he retired to his canoe, to prepare 
for sailing; but on his way, one of the King's 
messengers overtook him, stating that Amadi 
Fatuma had complained to the King that Mr. 
Park had not paid him any wages, nor had he 
given him any thing a« a dash; and that the King 
had sent officers to detain Park till the demand 
was paid. Park indignantly denied the truth of 
this assertion, and determined not to yield to the 
imposition, but immediately stepped on board his 
canoe, accompanied by the party who had been 
with him on shore. He desired the messenger 
to return, and bring Amadi Fatuma to make his 
claim in person. Amadi did return, accompanied 
by the malaam priest, that is, the chief of the 
priesthood, Terrasso-weea being already present. 
He then in person boldly demanded his wages, 
declaring that he had not been paid according to 
his agreement, although all Park's people stated 
they saw him paid a great deal more than was 
agreed. Terrasso-weea' says he is doubtful whether 
the King, who was a despotic tyrant, had not 



I 



WESTERN AFRICA. 181 

encouraged or urged Amadi to make his dishonest 
demand, for many people believed the white man's 
tale. 

However^ the King's orders were directed to be 
enforced; and when Park's people were in the 
act of loosening the painter of the canoe, which 
was made fast to a stump of a tree, or a post 
driven into the bank for that purpose, one of the 
King's officers seized hold of the gunwale of the 
canoe to detain it, when Park, with a sabre, at 
one blow cut the officer's hand off. This exaspe- 
rated the natives, who raised a continuous yell, 
and at the same time threw a number of stones 
into the canoe. Whereupon Park fired many times 
into the crowd, killing several and wounding 
many. 

It was not tiQ then that a general attack was 
made, for many of the people were in favour of 
Park, if they had dared to show it. Soon after 
the attack Park was killed, or at least mortally 
wounded, so that he died soon after he was taken 
into the presence of the King, who pretended to feel 
regret that the charge had not been paid without 
resorting to such a measure. Nearly all who 
were in the canoe were killed or mortally wounded. 
Park with his own hands fired the guns, while the 
others were loading the several muskets in their 



182 TRAVELS IN 

possession. The arms used by the natives were 
bows and spears. 

Terrasso-weea was during the whole time an eye- 
witness of this scene^ and he declares it to be his 

•ft 

opinion, that had Park, after severing the hand, 
pushed oflf his canoe, and proceeded down the river, 
he might have got oflf without any more injury 
than the pelting with the stones. I questioned 
him respecting the falls represented to have been 
the cause of his canoe upsetting ; but he declared 
that there are no such falls as to impede in any 
way the navigation of a canoe of any size for more 
than two himdred miles higher up ; but merely a 
rapid current pacing between some ki^e boulders 
of granite, between which he had himself passed 
nearly the number of days in two moons. 

He further stated in reply to questions from 
me, that Park was taken out of his canoe alive, 
but would not speak when taken before the King. 
All the property in the canoe was claimed by the 
King, and some of it distributed in presents to his 
courtiers. Terrasso-weea was presented with a 
small box, which, by his description, was either a 
tobacco-box and stopper, or a snuflF-box and tooth- 
pick, but I should suppose the former. 

I made minute inquiry respecting his papers, 
and was informed that about twenty-six moons after 



"■«HiB9Hai^ViBB«aHHHHBB19Q 



WESTEBN AFRICA. 183 

the occurrence, a white man came from Tripoli 
and purchased some large papers with crooked 
lines and much of writing upon them. These 
papers were secured in a long metal tube. I 
asked if he were not mistaken in the man who 
purchased the papers coming from Tripoli, and 
whether it was not from Constantinople. At this 
question, the merchant seemed a little offended, 
and again asserted that the man came from Tri- 
poli. He said he purchased the papers at a high 
price, and when he had departed, a messenger 
was sent after him by the King to recall him, 
when another demand was made upon him, equal 
to the first payment before he was allowed to 
depart. 

The other books in Park's possession were sold 
in parts to the different priests and malaams, 
to make into amulets, which consist of slips of 
the paper rolled up hard, and sewn into a piece 
of fancy-coloured and stitched leather, and are 
suspended by a neatly plaited or twisted thong of 
goat-skin round the neck. He belieyed that some 
amulets had been carried more than two hundred 
les^ues, or sixty days' journey. I asked him how 
he came to leave the service of the King of Yaouri. 
In reply he told me that he had been six years with- 
out receiving any pay, and had ventured to solicit 



184 TRAVELS IN 

part payment^ when the £jDg told him that his 
insolence deserved death, which punishment he 
would certainly inflict, threatening the same fate 
to the priest I had seen at Abomey. Upon this 
threat, the two priests determined on making 
their escape, which they with diflSculty effected ; 
and had they not been in favour with the people, 
and the Kjng disliked for his barbarity, their 
escape would have been impossible. 

Having some pecuniary means they retreated 
to the kingdom of Bornou, where they remained 
for some years, living in the capacity of priests, 
and there they gained the favour of the sheik or 
king; but, unfortunately, the country becoming in- 
volved in war, and their master beheaded, they 
were compelled again to retreat, and ever since 
had been travelling as merchants, sometimes re- 
maining four or five moons in one town. Terrasso- 
weea was also a dealer in slaves, when it suited 
his purpose. The goods in which he traded were 
chiefly Bornou ornaments — armlets, bracelets, and 
anklets, very heavy and richly chased or carved ; 
native razors and beads, cloths of various manu- 
facture and colours, various-coloured tobes, and 
neatly carved wooden bowls, bows and arrows, 
some brass rods, no doubt of European manu- 
facture. 



WESTERN AFRICA. 183 

During our conversation my friend, the Bahia 
cook^ seemed very anxious to ask some questions. 
I could not help admiring the difference between 
the sagacious behaviour of this man and that of 
his uncivilized brethren around him. He asked 
me a great many questions respecting Boothby and 
Johnston, and begged me to call on the firm, and 
deliver certain messages on my return to England. 
He intended to embrace the first opportunity of re- 
turning to Whydah, where he had some acquaint- 
ances, for he was not now comfortable, being entirely 
shut out from the civilized world. If he could only 
hear of any of his old master's family being still 
alive in Liverpool, he would yet endeavour to get 
a passage thither,* The King had sent provision to 
us, and our host had also furnished us with more 
than a suflGiciency; my excellent friend the cook 
begging to perform the cooking, declaring that it 
did his heart good to wait on a white man, but 
more especially an Englishman. 

My friend and old acquaintance, the Tripoli 
man, seemed anxious to learn something of the 
steamers composing the Niger expedition. It 
appeared that he was quite acquainted with the 
disastrous fate of that expedition, and also with 

* I have, since my return, called on the firm of Messrs. 
Boothbj and Johnston, and found this stoiy perfectly correct. 
His old masters gare him an excellent character. 



186 TRAVELS IN 

the abandonment of the model farm^ which he 
says he himself visited after he saw me at Egga. 
He says that the natives regretted much the 
abandonment of the farm^ but the people are still 
in hopes of our again returning to trade with 
them. So that though the lives of many good 
men were sacrificed, the expedition has excited an 
inclination to trade, which must always be the 
leading means of civilization. 

The King now sent his messengers to ask if I 
had finished my palaver, as he wished me and the 
merchant to pay him a visit at his palace. Thither 
we accompanied the messenger, and found his 
Majesty seated cross-legged on a square piece of 
Turkey carpet* He had two large brass pans 
beside him, without any contents, consequently I 
suppose they were merely used as ornaments. He 
had two of his principals sitting close by him ; these 
were his principal malaams. Upon my approach he 
rose from his position, and shook hands with me^ 
and then reseated himself on a low, richly-carved 
stool, the malaams each nursing a leg on their lap. 

The sun was now set, and this interview was by 
torch-light. The King asked a great many ques- 
tions about the sovereign of my country, and when 
told that the monarch was a woman he seemed 
confounded. He next asked me if she had many 



WESTERN AFRICA. 187 

husbands, and when I told him that she had onlj 
one, he shrunk up his shoulders. He then in- 
quired if she went out to war in person. In fact, 
his inquiries were endless. Our palaver lasted 
about an hour, at the end of which we were 
allowed to retire. 

We returned to the house of the merchant, 
where we had supper, and were afterwards ac- 
commodated with a comfortable mat and cloth to 
sleep upon. I slept very soundly, and did not 
awake till aroused by the noise of people getting 
their goods ready for the market. There are 
several markets in thia town, consequently they 
are held on different days. I arose, and the Bahia 
cook had prepared some delicious dishes for my 
breakfast. The poor fellow seemed quite delighted 
to attend to my wants. 

At breakfast I ate by myself, the merchant 
preferring other dishes. I made inquiry respecting 
the distance to Timbuctoo. He said that he had 
come from Timbuctoo in ten days, by commencing 
his journey before the sun, and travelling all day, 
only stopping to eat once. I found by comparing 
the day's journey that he had come from the 
Dabadab Mountains. Thirty miles was about his 
day's journey. He described Timbuctoo as not 
nearly so large as Adofoodia, and that it was only 



188 TRAVELS IN 

remarkable as a mart for the exchange of goods 
as being convenient for that purpose. It is a 
great salt market, but has no manufacture. 

The natives are chiefly employed in loading 
and unloading goods for the different traders, who 
assemble here to meet the various caravans and 
canoeSi which arrive there at certain periods. A 
high duty is imposed upon every article of trade 
carried thither, in consequence of which great 
disturbance has been caused of late years, by the 
merchants refusing to pay it. Timbuctoo is de- 
scribed as being a considerable distance from the 
Joleeba, or Niger, up a tributary stream. Ter- 
rasso-weea informed me, as also the Tripoli 
merchant, that there are thirty-six branches or 
tributary rivers. All of these within one league 
run into the Niger, or Joleeba, near the Tim- 
buctoo branch. Adofoodia is as large as Abomey, 
and its trade nearly equal in native merchandise. 
It is by observation, in latitude 13® 6' N. and by 
reckoning 1<» 3' East longitude. 

The market at Adofoodia is well supplied with 
nearly every article already mentioned, except 
tobacco, which I did not observe. Slaves are here 
sold in great numbers. During my stroll round 
the town I was followed by dense crowds of 
people wherever I went. Upon my return to my 



WESTERN AFRICA. 189 

quarters, I was visited by the ^ing, who expiessed 
a wish to see me fire out of my gun. 

To gratify his curiosity I shot a pigeon which 
was flying past. This excited great surprise. He 
sent me a head of cowries to treat my men on my 
return to Dahomey. I had now only a few knives 
left, two of which I gave him, as well as some 
needles. I also gave some presents to my other 
kind Mends, with whom I felt myself quite at 
home. They pressed me hard to stop another 
day, but circumstances would not permit me, and 
after being furnished with another head of cowries 
by Terrasso-weea, we marched on our return for 
the Kong Mountains, during which nothing very 
extraordinary occurred further than a slight 
fever; and on the 13th August, in the evening, 
we once more, to my great joy, arrived at Baffo, 
where I found my guard and the captain almost in 
despair. 



\ : 

« I 

i 



190 TRAVELS IN 



CHAPTER VIIL 

Return to BafFo— Anxie^ of my Caboceer— Rejoicings for my 
Return — Our March— Fine Plain — Plants — Neutral Ground — 
Natives of the Bassa Mountains — Agriculture — The Annagoos, 
dangerous Enemies — Poisoned Arrows — Poisonous Plants — 
Alarm of my Attendants on my plucking it — Fatal Effects of 
this Plant and Dread of it by the Natives — Number of the 
Natives blind, supposed to be the result of it — Unsuccessful 
Attack on them by the Dahomans — Spiral Bocks — Hostile 
Demeanour of the Natives — ^They follow us with Menaces — 
Some Account of these Mountaineers, and of the Daasa Moun- 
tains — The Blue Eagle — Cataracts — Beautiful Plain — One 
of my Cases of Rum broken by a Carrier — Twisted Marble of 
Variegated Colours^Path covered with Pepper-trees — Mon- 
keys — Logazohy — Mayho's Town— The Caboceer — Tbe Mei> 
chants — ^Their Names — Carelessness with respect to Fire — 
Visit of the Cabooeer* 

I WAS told by some of my people whom I had 
left at Baffo^ that the captain or caboceer had 
almost starved himself, having for some days after 
my march from Baffo to the Fellattah country re- 
fused food. He expressed his certain belief that in 
the event of his returning without me to Abomey 
he should lose his head. The character of the 
Dahoman is proverbial for being easily depressed, 
and as easily elevated. I was certainly a very wel- 



J 



— ■ n,m L 



WESTERN AFRICA, 191 

come sight to all my people whom I had left at 
Baffo. Immediately after my arrival a messenger 
was despatched to Abomey to acquaint the King 
with my return. He had sent a messenger daily 
to Baffo to ascertain whether any tidings had been 
obtained of my safety. These communications 
were kept up by a number of messengers stationed 
at intervals between Abomey and BafFo. After 
a short palaver, in which my motives for clandes- 
tinely leaving Baffo were condemned by them 
and justified by myself, I broached one of the 
rum kegs I had left at Baffo when I left for the 
Dabadab Mountains, and gave each of my people a 
dram. This soon settled all differences, and in a 
short time the merry dance succeeded to doubts 
and extreme anxiety. 

The whole of the following day, August 14th, 
was spent in rejoicing, drinking peto, and dancing ; 
and early on the foUowing morning arrangements 
were made for marching on our return to Abomey. 
My excellent old friend Kpatchie, the caboceer of 
Zoglogbo, who had spent the evening with us, was 
^ain at Baffo by day-break, with a guard of one 
hundred men to accompany me on the first part of 
my journey. The caboceer of Baffo, Agassadoo, 
had also one hundred men ready to accompany 
me, making in all, with my own people, three 



192 TRAVELS IN 

hundred armed men. My men^ who accompanied 
me on my journey to Adofoodia, through the ex- 
cessive fatigue which they had undergone and too 
freely indulging on the previous night, were so 
completely worn out and feverish, that it was 
arranged to leave them to their own discretion to 
return to Abomey by the nearest route ; but with 
orders not to be later than ourselves in arriving in 
the capital. 

With great satisfaction to myself and the 
Dahoman soldiers, we now commenced our march 
for the town of Logazohy, bearing N.N.W. Our 
march was across a fine plain, partly cultivated, 
with a crescent of mountains, called the Dassa 
Mountains, to the south and west. This valley, 
or plain, is well watered by small streams and 
springs of various qualities, and the surface of the 
soil is of a sandy clay. In crossing it I observed 
many different species of bulbous plants, of the 
flag tribe, which I had not noticed previously in 
any part of Africa I had yet visited ; some of their 
blossoms or flowers appeared very much like the 
breast of a partridge in colour, and resembled in 
shape and texture the wing of the dragon-fly. A 
certain distance fromBaffo, after emergmg into 
the plain, is considered neutral ground between 
the Annagoos and Mahees, the former occupying 



WESTERN AFRICA. 193 

the wliole of the chain of the Dassa Mountains, 
and denouncing all intercourse with their neigh- 
bours on either side of the mountains. They are 
consequently deficient in every article of European 
manufacture, possessed by their trading neighbours. 
They are contented, however, with their own re- 
sources, and, according to the old adage, that 
necessity is the mother of invention, they are con- 
sidered much more ingenious than their rival 
neighbours. They are also good farmers, and like 
the Mahees and Dahomans, in the vicinity of 
their own towns, they hold farms by hereditary 
right, a method which does not exist in any part 
of the West Coast. There, generally, after one 
man has obtained a single crop from any piece of 
land, he is too indolent to follow up cultivation for 
a second, and consequently the ground is either 
left to be overrun with spontaneous vegetation, or 
to be taken possession of by another party. 

The Annagoos of the Dassa mountains are con- 
sidered dangerous enemies, although by no means 
distinguished for their valour or gallantry, but on 
account of their superior skill in the manufacture 
of different poisons. Perhaps the opinion en- 
tertained of these people may arise from supersti- 
tion, but it is certain that a plant from which the 
strongest poison is extracted grows in abund^nci^ 

VOL. n. K 



194 TRAYBI^ IK 

at the base of these monntaina, and that with this 
the poison for their arrows is prepared. This 
plant grows about eight feet high, has a round 
stem about the thickness of a man's thigh, and is 
of a greenish grey colour. Its stems are fluted 
triangularly, and shoot firom the main trunk at 
regular intervals. The stems or major branches 
also send forth minor ones bearing a resem- 
blance and proportion to the horns of a species 
of deer or antelope abundant in this country. 
It is of the cactus tribe, and the whole is of 
a fleshy nature, but quite smooth and without 
prickles, growing almost without soil on the bare 
sur&ce of the granite rock, and receiving nou- 
rishment from its long fleshy roots, which run 
in difierent directions, till they find some narrow 
fracture or crevice, into which they insert them- 
selves. Their growth is very rapid. 

I had been cautioned by my Dahoman caboceer, 
early in the morning previous to our marching, 
not to touch either a flower or a shrub of any 
description, or even pick up a pebble, as I had 
been in the habit of doing when I observed any 
thing new on my journey. I took little heed of 
this wholesome injunction, supposing that his 
motives were merely to prevent any delay on the 
road, as the day was likely to be rainy. Upon 









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WESTERN AFRICA. 195 

observing a succession of this plant, as I rode 
along, I carelessly laid hold of and broke off a 
portion of the stem of one, which was extremely 
brittle. A yell was instantly raised amongst 
my soldiers, and in a moment it was snatched 
out of my hand, and thrown a considerable 
distance from the path, while another soldier 
seized my horse's head and pulled it on one side 
from the plant. 

Upon inquiring the cause of such an uncere- 
monious proceeding, I was assured, that I had 
run into extreme danger myself, as well as all 
those near my person, as this plant was the most 
deadly poison to be found in that country, and 
that even the vapour from a fracture or wound in 
the stem or any other part of it, from which 
a milky liquid almost in a stream exudes, which 
comes in contact with the eye, invariably causes 
total blindness, and death immediately any par- 
ticle of the juice comes in contact with the 
blood* Be this bs it may, I certainly observed 
in Logazohy and some neighbouring krooms an 
extraordinary number of blind persons, as ^w^ell 
as blind dogs, which naturally excited my curio- 
sity. I thought that this was occasioned by the 
ravages of the small-pox, but I observed that 
many were totally blind where no signs of 

k2 



196 TRAVELS IX 

small-pox were visible, (though this disease is 
trery prevalent here as well as in all the neigh- 
bouring kingdoms to the north and east of these 
mountains,) but upon inquiry, I found that the 
blindness was attributed to coming in contact with 
this plant.* 

None but the inhabitants of the Dassa mountains, 
it is said, ean safely make use of this plant. It 
was also stated to me, that three years ago, when 
an attempt was made upon a certain large town, 
on one of these mountains, the inhabitants poi- 
soned the waters which ran near the Dahoman 
camp, from which the besiegers obtained their 
supplies, and in consequence, that some thousands 
of the Dahoman army perished in the most excru- 
ciating ngony. On this account the siege was 
abandoned. No other attempt has ever since been 
made to take this town, though wells might be 
dug and water obtained with very little trouble, 
for springs are numerous and copious in this 
neighbourhood. 

Previous to our arrival at the mountain-pass 
whieh divides the crescent, through which we 

* After my return to Whydah, I happened to mention this 
eireamstance to a Portngaese Blave-merchant, at the same time 
doubting the truth of the powers of this plant. He assured me 
of the correctness of this information, and that the same plant 
is to be found in the Brazils. 



WESTERN AFRICA. 197 

marched in crossing this range of mountains, we 
passed inanj singularly formed spiral rocks, 
upon some of which were resting immense blocks 
af the same material, placed horizontally. Upon 
several of these apparently dangerous precipices, 
men were perched, and even dogs with them, each 
man armed with bow and arrow, watching us as 
we passed. At the moment I was quite unaware 
of their motive for watching us so narrowly, and 
concluded that it was nierely the curiosity of see- 
ing us as we passed, but we had not gone more 
than a very short distance before I found out their 
motive. These selfish people, besides shunning 
all intercourse with other tribes, will not allow 
even a pebble, or any thing dead or alive, not 
even a serpent^ to be carried into another country. 
Not being made acquainted with this circum- 
stance, (though I had been cautioned without any 
reason being assigned by my caboceer,) I asked 
one of my private servants to pick up a piece 
of stone of an unusual appearance. As soon as 
this was observed by them, a Dassa bowman ran 
up nearly alongside of me, raising several hideous 
yells, accompanied with menacing gestures. I 
did not know their language, and the Dahomans 
only understood what was meant by the bowman's 
motions directing me to give up the stone* His 



198 TRAVELS IN 

yell brought in less than five minutes many hun- 
dreds of men and boys^ all armed with bows 
and arrows^ many of whom had their arrows 
already resting on the string. My caboceer^ who 
had now placed himself alongside of my horse, 
reminded me of the caution he had given me. 

The Dassa people were still advancing alongside 
of us, continuing their hideous yells. Observing 
this, I asked the meaning of their following us, and 
was told that they were singing the stranger's 
praise, but their gestures and menacing attitudes 
convinced me that it was not so, though to drown 
the noise, my own people began a song in praise 
of the "king's stranger," as they called me. At 
last one of the Dahomans admitted, that, although 
he was unacquainted with their language, he was 
certain the Dassa people were cursing us. Upon 
this I remonstrated with the caboceer upon his 
suffering them to follow us in such a menacing 
manner, and begged him to order the additional 
guard to load their pieces, and give our pursuers 
a volley. He assured me that their pieces had 
been loaded previous to our leaving Baffo, and 
that each man had three bullets in his musket. 
He declared that he should like to give them a 
volley, which he knew would soon disperse them, 
but that the King had given him orders not on any 



N 



WESTERN AFRICA. 199 

account to commence hostilities^ except in the 
event of an attack^ and then to retaliate imme- 
diately with all his force. 

This was doubtless a more prudent course than I 
could at that moment reconcile myself to, having 
already experienced the advantage of taking the 
first step in an affray with Africans, but after- 
wards the King of Dahomey argued the injustice 
of a first attack, as we were only intruders in the 
Dassa territory, and had not come there to make 
war. I had my carbine and both pistols heavily 
charged with slugs, and could willingly have made 
the Dassa bowmen a present of a few when they 
first came up alongside of me, had the caboceer 
allowed me. 

After accompanying us two miles in the manner 
I have described, that is, till we reached the 
neutral ground on the N. W. side of the moun- 
tains, they suddenly turned back towards their 
homes. My fine old friend Kpatchie, and also 
the caboceer of Baffo, soon afterwards left us to 
return to their respective abodes. It now came 
on to rain heavily, rendering the path, which 
is of a light clay, extremely slippery. 

Before leaving the natives of the Dassa moun- 
tains, it may not be uninteresting to make a 
few observations respecting them. For gene- 



200 TllAVELS IN 

rations they have inhabited this range of moun- 
tains^ though they have been on several occa- 
sions disturbed by enemies^ who however have 
always been repulsed with loss. Their mountains are 
extremely difficult of access ; and, unlike any of 
their neighbours, they take the precaution to pre- 
serve sufficient food for some months, in case of a 
besieging force coming against them. This pre- 
caution, and the supply of water from the 
mountain springs, enables them to withstand the 
force and skill of any enemy. They speak a 
language quite distinct from that of the neigh- 
bouring tribes, one instance of the inaccuracy 
of Mr. Crowther*s assertion that all the tribes 
inhabiting the Kong Mountains, from the Niger to 
the Ashantee country, speak the same language. 

I had several Yarriba and Houssa men with me, 
all of whom declared that they could not speak the 
Dassa language. These mountaineers are selfish and 
revengeful in the extreme, and are considered great 
cowards, for they depend chiefly upon the chances 
of poisoning their enemy. They are numerous 
on account of theit never disposing of their slaves, 
and polygamy is, as in most African kingdoms, 
allowed to any extent. Their towns (those at least 
which we saw) were large and well-peopled, and 
their position judiciously selected for defence. 



WESTERN AFRICA. 201 

They do not keep their cattle in herds on the 
plains, like their neighbours, but on the .mountains, 
which haye more vegetation than most of the 
Mahee mountains of the same height. They are 
great farmers and hunters. Regular markets of 
exchange are established with one another. It is 
said that they have a superior method of manu- 
facturing iron, which has been observed in their 
arrow-heads. Their worship is pagan. 

The west side of some of these mountains 
presents to the observer a most singular appear- 
ance, being composed of immense blocks of stone, 
(granite,) thrown by some volcanic power indis- 
criminately one upon another, resembling at a 
distance the large towns built on other parts of 
the mountains. The highest of the Dassa moun- 
tains, which is close on the left or south side of the 
pass crossing this chaiq, is two thousand five 
hundred feet high. The pass through these moun- 
tains is picturesque and grand; huge blocks of 
granite resting on pivots and angles, almost terrific 
to pass. The blue eagle, and various large birds 
of varied plumage and forms, give a wild grandeur 
to. the scene. The pass is extremely rough, the 
traveller ascending and descending rocks, to the 
distance of a mile, to avoid the deep pools in the 
hollows between them, formed by the stream of 

k3 



202 TRAVELS IN 

considerable size which runs in the same direction 
as the pass. The noise and gushing sound of the 
cataracts reminded me of scenes far distant. I 
should have enjoyed it much better had we not 
been annoyed by the Dassa people. 

It is remarkable, that in all the mountains in 
the interior I have never observed a stone build- 
ing, though stone might much easier be obtained 
than the clay with which they are invariably 
built; for instance, they carry clay from the plain 
fbr the purpose of building upon granite rocks, on 
mountain-tops elevated two thousand feet from 
their base. The lion, hy»na, and panther abound 
in these mountains, and often commit great de- 
predations. The antelope is also a resident here. 

After crossing the chain of the Dassa moun^ 
tains, we entered another beautiful plain, quite 
open to a distance of many miles to the north- 
ward. The soil is of a light sandy clay and loam, 
well watered by small streams, running to the 
N.E. The ground, in consequence of the heavy 
rains, had, as I stated, become very slippery ; and, 
whether by accident or intentionally I cannot 
determine, one of my Dahoman carriers, sent 
with me by Mayho, let fall from his h^dad a large 
case, containing bottles of rum, breaking all but 
two. One of the soldiers who was close behind 



^^mtmi 



WE8TEBN AFRICA. 203 

him stated that this act was intentional^ and the 
caboceer declared that he would report the slave's 
conduct to his master immediately upon his return 
to Abomey. It was an unfortunate event to 
myself and the caboceer, especially as my stock of 
spirits was now nearly exhausted, and we had still 
many towns to visit, where in all such cases a 
present of a flask of rum is considered an indisr 
pensable dash to the caboceers and their headmen « 
Immediately after the case fell from the man'^ 
head, one of the soldiers placed it on its bottoyi, 
and I opened it. The box being pretty closely 
packed, we managed to preserve a considerable 
portion of the rum ; but I had only two bottles, 
which I always ordered my own men to carry in 
their havresacks, filled with water. We poured 
out the water from these, and filled them with the 
dirty rum. The bottles having been packed with 
straw, some of the soldiers wrung out the rum 
into their calabashes, to drink. The remainder 
of the rum was distributed amongst my people, 
with the exception of the unfortunate carrier, 
whom the caboceer would not allow to taste it ; 
and, as a farther punishment, he was ordered to 
change his load for a much heavier, one. The 
plain was here thinly studded with palm and shea 
butter-trees. 



204 TRATEL8 IN 

After marching about thirteen miles, we entered 
a thick wood; which runs along the base of a 
second range or crescent of mountains, similarly 
situated to the Dassa mountains, but of much less 
magnitude, and thickly wooded to the top. The 
geology of this differs from the Dassa range, 
being composed chiefly of limestone, and a 
beautifully twisted or waved marble of variegated 
colours — yellow, white, blue, and red. After 
passing about five miles along their base, under 
lurge trees of various sorts, the rain falling 
in torrents, we arrived at the pass across this 
second range. The path, though well trodden 
under foot, was entirely covered with pepper trees, 
of the small Chili tribe, about ten feet in height. 

These bushes proved very annoying for a dis- 
tance of about two miles. The branches of the 
pepper-trees extended across the path at about 
four feet from the ground, where they were so 
firmly interwoven as almost to unseat me from my 
saddle, and being in full bearing at this season the 
annoyance was still greater, the seeds coming in 
contact with the face and eyes, and causing 
actual torture. 

It was very agreeable again to see the op^ 
plain, which we found at a short distance from the 
mountains, beautifully cultivated. I forgot to men- 



WESTERN AFRICA. 205 

tioD, that during our passing oyer the last range, 
I observed some very singularly marked monkeys, 
having a white streak across the upper part of the 
forehead, white round the mouth, and on the tip 
of the nose. These were much smaller than the 
black or brown monkey, and of a slate-grey-coloured 
body. We passed several large shocks of beans 
or peas, of a description I had not yet noticed. 
TChey appeared to be very prolific, and were about 
the size of the horse-bean in England, but as 
white as our white pea ; the stalk about three fe6t 
long, and also of a light colour. I found upon 
inquiry that these were preserved for seed, which 
were to be immediately put into the ground, 
though they had only been two days gathered. I 
was told that the seed would produce another 
crop in the space of two moons and a half. In 
this country they have also a great variety of 
the ground-bean and nut, which is also very 
abundant. 

After twenty-one miles we arrived at the town 
of Logazohy, where, although completely drenched 
by the day's heavy rain, we were obliged to remain 
in the market-place till the poor old caboceer, 
who was in a very delicate state of health, could 
prepare himself for my reception, as the King's 
stranger. After the usual prostration and forms 



206 TRAVELS IN 

of welcome^ by drinking water, and then rum, we 
were led into a spacious court-yard, where we 
observed a number of young female slaves, who 
were very handsome, busily employed in grind- 
ing com. They seemed to have been taken 
Unawares, for upon our approach they instantly 
fled. We passed into a second and much 
smaller yard, where a good house for myself and 
private servants was pointed out to me. This I 
ascertained belonged to Mayho*s traders, who are 
stationed here. 

The town belonging to Mayho by right of con- 
quest, the honour of accommodating me with this 
apartment was claimed by these men, Mayho 
having been appointed white man's guardian or 
father during his sojourn in the Dahoman king- 
dom. This circumstance seemed to cause a certain 
degree of jealousy on the part of the caboceer 
and head men, who insinuated that the apartments 
were not sufficiently good for the King's white 
stranger to lodge in. However, I expressed my- 
self quite satisfied and comfortable. After being 
supplied with a thick rush-mat and a country- 
cloth, I stripped off all my wet clothes, and 
wrapped myself in the cloth. 

The whole front of my house was open, con- 
sequently crowds, both young and old of both 



WE8TEBN AFBICA. 207 

sexes, pressed eagerly almost into my apartment, 
to see my white skin, which seemed greatly to 
excite their curiosity. In about an hour after our 
arrival, the caboceer sent ten large calabashes of 
ready-cooked proyisions for me to distribute 
amongst my people, and a few minutes afterwards 
the merchants brought me thirty-three more 
dishes, holding about twenty English bushels, 
with one live Guinea-fowl, a duck of the Mus- 
covy breed, and several common fowls. 

The merchants, six in number, upon presenting 
me with the provisions, prostrated themselves, 
the principal a little in advance of the others, 
when after rubbing the upper parts of their naked 
persons with the dust, or rather mud, they raised 
themselves to their knees, upon which they re- 
mained resting on their hams, the custom always 
in addressing a superior. The principal or head 
man, acting as a spokesman, expressed gra- 
tification at having an opportunity of display- 
ing their gratitude and good feeling towards 
their King and his stranger, who had con- 
descended to visit their country, and hoped that 
this would not be the last opportunity which 
would be aflForded them of testifying their good 
feeling to an Englishman. They said that it was 
owing to the skill and goodness of white men who 



208 TRAVELS IN 

brought white man's goods into their country, 
that they were enabled to keep up a trade superior 
to the kingdoms in the interior ; then after express- 
ing a wish that I would soon again pay them 
another visit, the head man begged that I would 
do him the honour to enter their names in my 
book. They were as follows ; — 

Zisan. Degano. Doyou. 

Bossou. Ossou. Bokaw. 

The caboceer and merchants w.ere previously 
made aware of our intention to visit their town, 
and were therefore enabled to get food pre- 
pared for us. A strong fire was kindled inside 
my house, and my wet clothes hung round to dry 
during the night. I have often been surprised at 
their carelessness with respect to fire. During 
the rainy season it is generally kindled inside 
their huts, which even in the centre seldom exceed 
eight feet in height, and though the thatch reaches 
within three feet of the ground, yet accidents 
seldom occur. It is true, they have generally 
little to lose by fire, the extent of their furniture 
being a stool or two, and a few earthen pots of 
native manufacture, in which they cook their 
food, and a few gourds or calabashes. The roof 
alone can be destroyed, the walls being thick and 
of clay, hardened by fire. 



WESTERN AFRICA. 209 

August 16th. — Early in the morning I was 
visited by the caboceer Chaou, who according to 
custom came to wish me good morning. He in- 
troduced all his head men to me, explained the 
nature of each of their offices. Soon afterwards, 
a number of the caboceer's wives arrived, accom- 
panied by double their own number of slaves 
loaded with provisions, which were presented to 
myself and people. As soon as this ceremony 
was concluded, the person appointed to taste each 
dish, as well as one of my own people, partook of 
a small portion of each, to show us that there 
was nothing poisonous contained in it. After 
the several dishes were all distributed, Chaou, in 
a whisper, begged the captain of my guard to ask 
if I would condescend to enter his own name and 
those of his head men in my book. Of course I 
readily assented, and entered as follows : — 



Chaou.* 


Aladee. 


Alee. 


Adjutabellee. 


Nah. 


Atepwhahoo. 


Douzougoukeny. 


Dosoatimee. 


Aflfleedaw. 


Amouzoukpway. 


Dojee. 


Agasahogloo. 


Bozou-nogoodithay. 


Adjobolee. 


Kadjo. 


Annessou. 


Awalla. 


Kapo« 




* Cftbocwr. 





210 TRAVELS IN 



CHAPTER IX. 

Bater Loguohy in Regimeatala — Beceivcd by the Cabooeer, 
attended by his Soldiers — Singular Mode of Dancing — Native 
Jester— Description of the Town — Com Mills — Presents from 
Fetish-women — Agriculture — Prevalent Diseases — A dis- 
gusting Case of Leprosy — Quarrel among my Carriers — My 
Illness — The Damadomy — Trees, Shrubs — The Agbado— 
Rapid Construction of a Suspension Bridge by my Dahoman 
Guards — Savalu — Beception by the Caboceer — Picturesque 
Situation of the Town — Cabooeer's House — ^His Wives— His 
Jester — My Illness. 

Previous to my leaving Abomey for the Mahee 
country, the King expressed a desire that I should 
either enter the town, (where it might be arranged 
for me to remain all night,) in regimentals ; or if 
more convenient to me, dress in them on the fol- 
lowing morning, and proceed a short distance out 
of the town, going through a formal reception 
by the caboceer and head men. Accordingly, it 
was arranged that I should remain one day for 
that purpose, and about ten o'clock, all being 
ready, I, together with all my retinue, marched 

out of the town to the distance of about half a 
mile, in the same direction as we entered. We 



WESTERN AFRICA. 2M 

then countermarched, and were met by Chaou 
and head men, with his guard of about eighty 
soldiers, armed with muskets and short swords. 
As they advanced, a constant fire was kept up 
till within a few yards of us. Then both parties 
halted; upon which the usual prostration and 
palaver of welcome were as minutely observed as 
if he had not before seen us. We afterwards 
drank water with each other, and then rum of 
a very indifferent quality. Both parties then 
alternately went through their exercise of attack 
and defence. Their mode of skirmishing is all by 
stealth upon the enemy, and their chaige U a wild 
disorderly rush, without any line being pre- 
served. Each soldier upon his return brings with 
him a tuft of grass, or a piece of a bough of some 
description, to represent a head which he is sup- 
posed to have just cut off. 

We then advanced to the town, where we formed 
up in the market-place. Here each party alter- 
nately kept up what they called dancing, and 
drinking rum and peto for about an hour. Their 
motion in dancing is unlike that of any other 
country with which I am acquainted. They 
never use their legs, except when making some 



212 TRAVELS IN 

extraordinary leap to change their front in an- 
other direction, their principal motion being in 
the hips and shoulders, ivhich are thrown back- 
wards and forwards in rapid motion; sometimes 
their movements are, to any civilized being, of a 
very disgusting nature. 

During this ceremony the market-place was 
crowded with spectators, who seemed quite de- 
lighted with the performance. Each caboceer in- 
variably keeps a clown, who is selected according 
to his powers of humour, many of them displaying 
considerable talent. At last a messenger came to 
signify to Chaou that dinner was prepared for usj 
when we retired to our houses, where we found 
not only an extravagant quantity of provision, 
supplied by the caboceer, but also by the same 
merchants who had already been so liberaL We 
were also supplied with a large quantity of peto. 

After dinner I took a survey of the town, 
which for regularity and neatness surpassed most 
of those I had yet visited in the Mahee coun- 
try. It is strongly fenced, has an inner wall, 
and a large outer and inner market, well sup- 
plied with native produce and manufactures. 
Bats, mice, and the guano are also sold in 



WESTERN AFRICA. 213 

greater abundance for consumption than in any 
other place I had seen. This was the first town 
in which I observed any regularity or form of 
manufactory. 

In the principal square, which was entirely 
occupied by the caboceer and retinue, nearly one 
side was occupied by corn-mills, where a number 
of very handsome young female slaves were em- 
ployed grinding com. About two yards distant, 
behind where the grinders were employed, was 
a line of fires, parallel to the line of mills ; each 
fire was attended by a cook and an assistant. 
The whole was covered in with a roof neatly 
thatched. The side of the building facing the 
square was open like a shed. 

During the greater part of the afternoon I was 
beset with visitors, bringing some trifling articles 
as presents, amongst whom were many fetish- 
women, who brought me some eggs. These 
women are licensed beggars, sanctioned by roy- 
alty, and possess great influence amongst the 
people. They attend all public markets, and are 
entirely supported by contributions, which are 
liberally bestowed from a dread of offending 
them. The old caboceer, Chaou, paid me a visit. 



I 

I 

214 TBAVEL8 IN 



and eaxnestly inquired if I could prescribe any 
medicine for a severe cough which much annoyed 
him. He said that some of my soldiers told him 
I could cure all diseases. I gave him a few colo- 
cinth and calomel pills, knowing that he would 
not feel satisfied without something in the shape 
of medicine, — in return for which he gave me 
a young bull. 

The land here is well cultivated, and bears ex- 
cellent crops near the town. The rocks are 
of granite, and singularly twisted and stratified 
horizontally, with scarcely any dip, in sections of 
pure white, resembling alum. 

Leprosy as well as small-pox appear to be the 
most prevalent diseases here. The town of Loga- 
zohy contains eight or nine thousand inhabitants. 
The cattle are handsome and numerous, with the 
exception of pigs, which had lately suffered much 
from a disease resembling the small-pox. Very 
few are now left in the country. 

Towards the evening I felt a little feverish, pro- 
bably from recent fatigue and sleeping in wet 
clothes. I subsequently ordered a bason of gruel to 
be prepared for me, and took a dose of James's 
powder and some sedative of opium. Upon lying 



WESTERN AFRICA. 215 

down for the nighty my friend the captain of my 
guard seemed much alarmed, for he saw that I was 
ill. He was very anxious that I should not take 
any medicine, lest it might kill me, but I assured 
him that I took it for the purpose of getting 
welL Being extremely ill, I had given orders not 
to admit any strangers into my apartment, or even 
into the yard, but one poor old woman, who had a 
son suffering dreadfully from leprosy, managed to 
gain admittance to me, bringing a present of two 
fowls and some eggs. These, however, I declined 
to accept, on account of her poverty, but assured 
her that if she would bring her son to me, I would 
give him some medicine ; and told the old dame 
that white man came to her country to teach them 
and do them good, and at the same time explained 
to her that my reason for not accepting her 
present, was not that I undervalued its pecuniary 
worth, but from a conviction that she might sell 
them in the market for her own benefit. 

Upon this, the poor old woman prostrated 
herself, and as usual covered herself with mud, 
for the rain had been very heavy all the previous 
day and night. She remained on her knees for 
some time, singing an extemporary song in praise 




I 



216 TRAVELS m 

of the King's stranger. She then departed to 
bring her son, and in a short time returned with 
the unfortunate object of her solicitude, who was 
decidedly the most loathsome creature in human 
form I ever beheld. He was apparently about 

ff nineteen or twenty years of age, and was covered 

with the loathsome disease from head to foot 

) except those parts which were ulcerated, with a 

dischai*ge chiefly from the arm-pits. The smell 
was so intolerable that my servants retreated upon 
his approach. He was reduced to a mere skeleton, 
and yet the poor fellow appeared not to suffer 
much pain, nor did any particular organ seem to 
suffer more than another. 

This case being beyond my skill, I could only 
prescribe calomel pills, and a few doses of salts. 
I also presented the mother with a few needles and 
a thimble, for which she seemed truly grateftil, 
pronouncing a blessing upon me as she departed* 
At last I had an opportunity of lying down to rest. 
Though suffering much from fever, I soon fell into 
a confused sleep, from the powerful dose of opium 
I had taken. Early in the morning I rose with a 
view of getting the greater part of my journey 
over before the .sun should reach the meridian, but 



WESTERN AFRICA. 217 

after breakfast, August 17tli, some of my men 
begimiing to dispute about carrying the luggage as 
previously arranged, I was compelled to use my 
horsewhip. The excitement produced by this 
disobedience suddenly threw me into a violent 
chill, which commenced at the feet, and rapidly 
rose upwards till it reached the pit of the stomach. 
Then sickness and vomiting began, followed by 
violent headach and giddiness. 

This kind of attack is generally a prelude to 
a very severe and dangerous fever. In a few 
minutes after the chill reached my chest, I 
reeled and fell prostrate; but when the violent 
burning of the fever commenced, the giddiness 
partly left me* I then took another strong dose of 
opium and James's powder, and lay down for two 
hours. I now found myself in a violent perspira- 
tion, overcome by a sort of pleasing stupor. This 
enabled me to bear up against the violence of the 
fever* 

I ordered my horse to be again got ready, 
in defiance of the kind remonstrances of the 
captain of my guard, and commenced my journey, 
bearing magnetic W.N.W. At a short distance 
from the town, we passed over marble rocks, 

VOL. n. L 



218 TRAVELS IN 

beautifiilly twisted ; but, on entering the plain, we 
agiun found the bed composed of fused iron ore, 
with shea-butter and palm-trees, thinly spread 
over it, and many other trees, the names and class 
of the greater part of which were strange to me, 
being unacquainted with botany. 

At a short distance from the town of Logazohy, 
we crossed a small stream of good water, about 
three feet deep and eight feet wide, running east- 
ward. This stream is named Damadomy. Afler 
crossing it, I observed several large sycamore and 
ash trees, exactly similar to those found in Eng- 
lanc^ but of considerably larger growth^ and 
the bark more rough and fractured. Here also 
were numerous stunted shrubs, of a peculiar de- 
scription, which are very seldom met with, except 
in this neighbourhood, and occupy a belt of country 
extending east and west. One of these plants or 
shrubs is from four to six feet in height, with 
numerous branches ; both trunk and branches are 
very crooked, and contain but very few leaves. 
The branches are nearly all of one thickness, from 
the trunk to their top, which terminates abruptly. 
The leaves are much smaller, but in shape re- 
semble those of the laurel ; they are very fleshy, 



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WESTERN AFRICA. 219 

and of a pea-green colour. The bark is grey, and 
also very fleshy; upon the whole this shrub has 
the appearance of having been scorched and in a 
state of recovery. 

At twelve miles distant, to the southward, 
I observed a range of mountains, forming an 
arch of 90® S. and W. At eight miles further, 
we arrived at the river Agbado, a rapid stream, 
twenty yards wide, and only six feet deep, with 
steep banks densely wooded, with very large trees, 
and a thick underwood. The river nms N.E. at 
this point, but soon changed its course. When we 
reached it, we were much disappointed (at least 
my guard pretended to be so) at not finding that 
any arrangement had been made for our cross- 
ing the river. This, they alleged, ought to have 
been done by the caboceer of Savalu, distant only 
two miles, whom we had purposely come to visit. 
It appeared, however, that the notice he had re- 
ceived of our intention to visit him was so short, 
that he had scarcely any time to arrange himself 
and his household. 

My conviction was, that this apparent neglect 
was the result of a preconcerted arrangement, 
in order to give the Dahoman soldiers an op- 

L 2 



220 TRAVELS IN 

portunlty of exhibiting their skill as engineers. I 
proposed to swim my horse and self across^ but 
this was opposed by the caboceer, on account of 
the rapidity of the stream. Besides, how were 
the officers' wives, who carried their baggage, and 
also my own carriers, to get across ? For this 
purpose I proposed rafts to be made from branches 
of trees, cut into lengths and lashed together and 
passed across by a rope, formed from the long 
fibres which grow downwards from the branches 
of the large trees on this bank, resembling 
hundreds of ropes of various thickness. These 
extraordinary fibres are sometimes thirty and forty 
feet long, according to the height of the branches 
from which they grow, and are extremely tough. 
They are pliable and of great strength. When 
they reach the ground, they insert themselves to 
some depth, and again take root, from which other 
trees spring upwards. They frequently form a 
colonnade of considerable extent along the banks 
of rivers, and resemble mangroves. 

My proposition was not approved of, and a 
council of officers being held, it was in a short 
time determined to adopt rather a novel method,' 
which it may be interesting to describe. As I have 



WESTERN AFRICA. 221 

already stated, large trees, of a species which I 
have previously mentioned, grew on the banks on 
either side of this river. A number of small trees 
were cut, each of the private soldiers cutting with 
his short sabre, or knife, till a sufficient number 
were thus obtained. These poles newly cut were 
tied to the long fibres hanging perpendicularly 
from the branches of the larger trees, and were 
then attached in succession, horizontally, till they 
reached the hanging fibres of the trees on the 
opposite bank. 

After having fixed two lines of poles across, in 
the manner I have described, about one yard 
apart, short pieces of wood were cut and placed 
across, and small boughs, and grass or reeds, 
placed on the top, so that a suspension-bridge 
was thus simply constructed in the short space of 
half an hour. The whole party then passed over 
in safety. I was informed, in reply to a question, 
that this is by no means an invention of the 
Dahomans, but has long been practised in Central 
Africa, especially in time of war, and where the 
rivers are not too wide. Floating bridges are 
also constructed in a similar manner, where the 
above method cannot be adopted. 



222 TRAVELS IN 

After croissing this river we entered the Annagoo 
country. We halted a short time on the bank^ 
to give the caboceer of Savalu time to prepare 
himself for our reception. A messenger now 
arrived to say that he would shortly be ready 
to receive us, I here changed my dress, and 
substituted my military uniform. This caboceer 
was described to be a man of great wealth and 
power, and a great favourite with the King of 
Dahomey. He is consequently allowed a consi- 
derable degree of discretionary power beyond 
that of any other chief, the caboceer of Whydah 
excepted. 

As soon as my rude toilet was finished, I 
mounted as a Life Guardsman, but not quite so 
neat as when on duty at Whitehall. After ad- 
vancing about one mile towards the town, we were 
met by the caboceer under some very large trees, 
where was a cranery. This place was delightfully 
shaded. Here the captain of my guard and myself 
seated ourselves under one of the trees, till this 
great personage made three times a procession in 
a circle round us to the left, for it is considered 
unlucky to form circle to the right. This cabo- 
ceer appeared to consider himself much above 



WESTERN AFRICA. 2£3 

any other I had seen, either in the Mahee or 
Dahoman kingdoms, now united. He would not 
condescend to walk, but was carried round us in 
his hammock. He then alighted, and his ham- 
mock was carried suspended to a pole, each 
end resting on the heads of two stout slaves, who 
always proceeded at a trot He advanced towards 
us on foot, after he had displayed to his own 
satisfaction the richly ornamented hammock in 
which he had been riding. He afterwards in- 
formed me that, it was presented to him by the 
King of Dahomey. He next went through the 
usual ceremony of prostration, and rubbing him- 
self with dust. He then delivered a long address 
of welcome to the King's English stranger, finish- 
ing his harangue by saying that I was like to a 
man who had been many moons searching in the 
bush for a large block of wood for his fire, and 
had rejected many as being bad wood to bum, 
but to his great satisfaction at last found a large 
tree of a peculiar description, which burnt like 
a lamp. He said, that I in like manner had 
been travelling through the Mahee and FeUattah 
countries, but during the whole of my long jour- 
ney I had not seen any town so great or so 



2i4 TRAVELS m 

grand as the town of Savalu, which I was about 
to enter. 

The caboceer, whose name Is Bagadee, Is a 
very fine stout handsome black, of very pleasing 
expression and address, possessing great intelli- 
gence; and having travelled a considerable dis- 
tance in the neighbouring kingdoms, he has a 
tolerable idea of the geography of the surround- 
ing country. As we advanced towards the town, 
which was certainly the most picturesque and 
grand of any I had seen since leaving the country 
of the Fellattahs, we ascended six platforms 
in succession, of flights of steps naturally formed, 
of a very peculiar sort of stone, resembling 
petrified wood, and stratified perpendicularly. 
These steps extend upwards of a mile in length, 
and each platform is of nearly the same breadth, 
preserving the same throughout ; so that an ob- 
server could scarcely be convinced that they were 
formed by Nature, were he not aware of the gene^ 
rally indolent character of the natives. These 
platforms were about fifty yards in width, with 
numerous little villages situated thereon, appa- 
rently occupied by farmers, and here all the cattle 
are kept, of which there are great numbers : goats 



\ 



WESTERN AFRICA. 225 

and sheep only are admitted in the town. The 
mountain of Savalu^ from which the town takes 
its name^ is beautifully wooded to the summit, 
with bold projecting rocks or precipices at different 
distances, showing their hoary crowns and angles, 
forming a beautiful back-ground to the town, 
which, independently of the neighbouring kroom, 
is certainly larger than any town in the Mahee 
country, and before it was ceded to the Dahomans 
was always considered the capital or metropolis. 
The houses are much larger generally, and built 
with more taste and uniformity than any Mahee 
town. The caboceer's house is two stories high, 
and built on a platform directly overlooking the 
market-place. His house and the market are 
separated by a wall about ten or twelve feet high. 
The windows or light-holes of the upper story are 
considerably higher than the wall, so that the in- 
mates, chiefly the caboceer's wives, can overlook the 
whole of the market-place, and in fact the whole 
town, being situated on the base of the mountain. 
We remained in the market-place about an hour 
and a half, drinking rum and peto, the soldiers of 
each guard alternately dancing and keeping up an 
irregular fire. During this time the caboceer's 

L 3 



226 TRAVELS TS 

wiTes were stealing a peep through the windows, 
but the moment they were observed withdrew. 
Amongst the soldiers of Savalu^ I noticed the 
jester very particularlji who certainly displayed 
more wit and fun than clowns generally do> in en* 
doavouring to fire off his musket, which several 
times missed fire ; upon which he shook out the 
whole of the priming, and spit into the pan, and 
again snapped the piece as if expecting the ex- 
plosion would fellow. He also performed several 
other antics equally ridiculous. At last we were 
allowed to retire to the quarters which had been 
allotted to us. These were a considerable distance 
from the principal market-place. 

AVe passed through several minor markets on 
our way to my quarters, then from one court- 
yard to another, till we at last reached the house 
appointed for us, which, according to my ideas, ill 
corresponded with the description given by the 
young caboceer of his town. The house was so 
low in the doorway, that I was compelled to enter 
on my hands and knees, and when I had passed 
through a partition into the inner apartment, which 
was as dark as a dungeon, I was obliged to burn a 
light. I felt much annoyed at this, and refused 



WEBTEBN AFRICA. 227 

to remain there^ looking upon it as an insult. 
Upon this circumstance being made known, several 
of the trading merchants from Abomey kindly 
proflPered me their houses, provided the caboceer 
had no objections. 

A messenger was consequently despatched to 
communicate my dissatisfaction with my lodgings 
to the caboceer, who appeared quite surprised, 
and came back with my messenger to make personal 
inquiry respecting it. Upon his inquiring why I 
objected to the apartment, I told him my first im- 
pression was that it must have have been u£sed as 
a prison, on account of its strength and darkness, 
being without any aperture to admit of light, ex- 
cept the low doorway. 

In explanation he informed me, that in his 
country the greater part of the houses were 
purposely so constructed, to prevent the inmates 
from being seen by a passer-by, who might shoot 
them with then- arrows, in time of war, which was 
a common {»*actice ; and that this house had been 
selected as a security against such an occurrence. 
However, I chose the house of the merchant, 
which was tolerably comfortable ; but felt rather 
feverish, and had also a slight touch of ague. I 



228 TRAVELS IN 

found it necessary, therefore, to take more medi- 
cine, which so much alarmed my caboceer, that he 
refused all sorts of food whatever, complaining 
bitterly of the advantage taken in stealing a march 
upon him into the country of enemies, thereby 
endangering his life as well as my own. He 
declared his conviction, that I had contracted my 
illness through excessive fatigue and exposure in 
the Fellattah country. However, tw(^ doses of 
James's powder and opium considerably subdued 
my fever. Here we were, as usual, supplied with 
large quantities of provision ready cooked, both by 
the caboceer and merchants. Late in the evening 
the caboceer again visited me, bringing with him 
some rum as well as some cherry brandy, which 
he proudly boasted had been sent him by the King 
of Dahomey. After he had distributed these, I 
gave him the contents of a flask of rum from my 
own stores, a box of lucifer matches, and a large 
Jew's harp, which seemed to afford him much 
pleasure. At a late hour he and his headmen 
retired to their homes, much to my satisfaction, 
for I felt much in want of rest. 



WESTEBN AFmCA. 229 



CHAPTER X. 

Importance of the Caboceer of Savala — Curiosity of the Natives— 
State Constables— Military Dance— Introduction to the Fetish- 
women — Manufactures — Crane-shooting — Present by Fetish- 
women — Hospitality of the Caboceer — His Name and those of 
his Head Men —Wild Grapes — The Zoka — Shrubs — Swim 

. across the Zoka — Mode of Transporting my Luggage — 
Difficulty in getting my Horse across — Fearlessness of the 
Dahoman Female Carriers — Bad Boads — Jallakoo — Reception 
by the Caboceer — My Illness — Appear in Regimentals before 
the Caboceer — Concern evinced on account of my Illness — 
Description of the Town — Agriculture — Caboceer's Name and 
those of his Head Men — Presents to the Caboceer. 

August 18th. — We were visited early by the 
caboceer, who came to wish us good morning, 
bringing with him another small flask of rum, with 
which we drank each other's health. He seemed 
very desirous to acquaint me with his wealth and 
power, explaining that he held, imder the King of 
Dahomey, a discretionary power superior to any 
other caboceer, and also the government of several 
neighbouring towns in the Mahee country, as well 
as several large towns in his own country (Anna- 



230 TRAYBLS IN 

goo), which he assisted the Dahomans in subduing. 
Savalu is the frontier town of the Annagoo 
country, the natiyes of which are always con- 
sidered a lawless, marauding people, and habi- 
tuated to acts of extreme cruelty. 

In a short time breakfast was brought ; after 
partaking of which we were again invited to the 
market-place, where many thousands, both old and 
young, were assembled to see the white man. The 
crowd was so great, that the ground-keepers were 
entirely overpowered, although they used their 
immense whips with great violence and dexterity. 
It is a singular fact, that the state constables in 
nearly all the large towns of the Dahoman, Mahee, 
Fellattah, and Annagoo countries, are selected 
from deformed persons. Many of them are armed 
with a bullock's tail dried with the skin on, and 
the long hair shaven off. This is a merciless 
weapon when used with both hands, which is fre- 
quently the case when authority is resisted. The 
offending parties are compelled to kneel down, 
and to place a hand on each knee, the body bending 
forward towards the constable, who inflicts his blows 
longitudinally on the back. This is a very severe 
punishment, and is the mode adopted for minor 



A. 



WESTERN AFBICA. 231 

offences through the whole Dahoman kingdom. 
A dozen is the greatest number I ever knew in- 
flicted at one time on the same person. 

Some soldiers having been stationed to assist in 
keeping the ground, something like order was 
restored, and the amusements commenced by the 
caboceer circling round in his hammock, as on the 
previous afternoon. During this a continual firing 
was kept up. He afterwards got out of his ham- 
mock, and advanced within a few yards of me, 
when, as usual, he went through the regular 
forms of prostration. He then examined my 
horse and trappings, apparently with great in- 
terest. His soldiers and head men then com- 
menced dancing ; and, as a matter of courtesy, my 
caboceer condescended to dance with the same 
party. Their music was rude, but not very un- 
pleasant; they were wind instruments, sunilar to 
the hautboy, accompanied with drums and cala- 
bashes, or gourds, covered with net-work strung 
with human teeth. 

The fetish-women, who were at this period keep- 
ing up their annual custom, which lasts during a 
whole moon, were then introduced. They appeared 



232 TRAVELS IX 

to be the finest and handsomest women in the plaCe* 
They were richly ornamented with coral and 
brass bracelets or armlets^ apparently of Bomouese 
manufacture. Each wore^ besides a country cloth, 
a large silk handkerchief of European manufac- 
ture. I could scarcely refrain from expressing 
my regret at seeing them prostrate themselves, 
and besmearing themselves with dirt, after the 
pains which they had taken to appear so neat and 
clean before this form of humiliation. 

As soon as this ceremony was finished, the whole 
party repeated a short prayer, after which they 
commenced a dance by themselves, singing some 
particular song, to which they kept time by clap- 
ping their hands against those of their partner. 
My own soldiers next commenced dancing, when 
they were joined by the principal men of Savalu, 
who considered themselves highly honoured by 
being allowed to dance with my Dahoman soldiers. 

After this sort of amusement had been con- 
cluded, I presented both parties of soldiers with 
some rum, and took a stroll round the town to 
examine the markets, and observe their mode of 
manufacture. This day, however, had been set 



WESTERN, AFRICA. 235 

apart by order of the caboceer as a holiday, 
so that scarcely any thing was exposed for sale 
in the market. However, I had an opportunity 
of seeing the blacksmith and weaver at work. 
The weavers here use a more perfect loom than 
the Fellattahs, and are also much superior to any 
I observed in the Mahee country. At Savalu they 
weave a sort of webbing similar to some of the 
fine silk webbing used for gentlemen's braces; 
but, upon a close inspection, I found that several 
of the principal weavers used European manufac- 
tured thread, both silk and cotton. 

In the whole of the countries I have visited, 
either on the coast, or in the interior, they have 
no other method of spinning than by the ancient 
distaff. I have often wondered at this, for their 
looms are exactly on the same principle as those 
of Europe. They knit nightcaps in great 
quantities here; and during my stay at Baffo 
a man knitted me a pair of socks, from a pair I 
lent him as a pattern. These are still in my pos- 
session. 

I asked permission to shoot some cranes in the 
cranery we passed yesterday, but the caboceer would 
only allow me to shoot the grey ones. The white 



( 



234 TRAVELS IN 

craneSy he said, were the fetish-men to the grey 
ones. The caboceer accompanied me, and seemed 
much surprised at my killing one with so small a 
gun on the top of so high a tree, particularly as 
he had never seen small shot used before. Th<^y 
generally use iron bullets, rudely forged. I 
offered to shoot one with a gun belonging to the 
principal warrior of my guard, but this he peremp- 
torily refused, declaring '* that if white man fired 
out of his gun, black man can never again kill 
any thing with the same piece." To convince him 
of his error, I offered to let him have a shot with 
mine, but even this he declined. I afterwards 
learnt that they will not even allow their own 
comrades to fire out of their guns. 

Upon my return home I found my court-yard 
covered with dishes of provision, smoking hot, 
the merchants as well as the caboceer having sent 
numerous dishes, as well as plenty of peto for my 
people to drink. Soon after we had finished our 
meal, we were beset with fetish-women, bringing 
small presents, received by them as tithes, on the 
last market-day. Tithes are actually customary 
to fetish- women even in Abomey. Although their 
present be ever so trifling, the acceptor is con- 



— 1 



WESTERN AFRICA. 23o 

sidered as under a religious obligation to make a 
return of tenfold yalue. 

One yery fine old fetish-woman, accompanied 
by her two daughters, presented me with some 
eggs, which she brought me on a soup plate of 
English manufacture, for which I gaye in return 
needles and thimbles. With these they seemed 
much pleased, but unfortunately on their way 
home they dropped the plate and broke it into 
several pieces. The young ladies returned crying 
bitterly, earnestly entreating me to mend it, and 
seemed still more grieyed when I told them that 
it was beyond my skilL To console them, how- 
ever, I told them that I would certainly send 
them one from Whydah by the Abomey mes- 
senger, who would forward it to Sayalu by the 
traders. This promise I fulfilled. 

Late in the evening the caboceer again visited 
me, when I presented him with a few ornamental 
trinkets, as well as a knife and a pair of scissors. 
With these he seemed pleased. I also presented 
his head men, and the Abomey merchants who had 
treated us so kindly, with some trifling articles. 
In return, they presented me with a live goat and 
8ome fowls. 



236 TRAVELS IK 

August 19tli* — ^Earlj in the morning I was 
Tisited bj the caboceer ^ who came to pay his morn- 
ing visit. The night had been very wet, and I was 
still suffering a little from fever; however, I was 
determined to proceed on my journey- We were 
ftumished with a good breakfast^ of which I 
partook a little. I had now become quite the 
African in my diet, which agreed with me very 
well, and I would recommend all travellers to 
adopt the same plan. When my party were 
announced to be all ready for the march, we were 
conducted through the principal market-place, 
where we found a fine young bull tied to one of 
the trees. The gay youug caboceer here prostrated 
himself, *and after the usual rubbing with dirt, 
presented me with this bull, which he sent to 
Abomey by carriers. 

During my stay at Savalu the caboceer supplied 
me with seventy-seven large calabashes of ready- 
cooked provision, besides plenty of fruit, the 
principal of which, in use at this season, were 
the gwaba, pine-apple, oranges, popans, mangoes, 
and the kidney cachu. The caboceer, before 
leaving his town, begged me to do him the 
honour to insert his own and the name of his 



WESTERN AFRICA. 



237 



head men iri my book. I here give them, for 
they tend to show the names peculiar to different 
countries : — 



Caboceer . • 


• . Bagadee. 


Head men . . 


. . Agbuzzee. 


KootAkoo. 


Vangh. 


Naghwoolyaemadah. 


Kogilee, 


Dissou. 


Lyhoo. 


Kaghohennah. 


Bosson, 


Agyddymoosee. 


Gbazoo. 


Agbadyea. 


Oona. 


Kpwaghooda. 


Atholoo. 


Agoyae. 


Mirahoo. 


Daffo. 


ModjekoBsee. 


Bozavee. 


Azamodoko. 


Kucyo. 


Jayaloogo. 


Eoko. 


Kudjo 2d. 


Attlah. 


Akyea. 


Athaly. 


Jagadidjee. 


Dakphway. 


Yakadya. 


Boka. 




Oaboceer^B Head wife 


.... Selam 



The thermometer now ranged from 80o to 73° of 
Fahrenheit. 

It may be well to observe here, that the name 
of Kudjo is not peculiar to this country, but rather 
to the Gold Coast, and is only given to those who 
are bom on particular days. 

After finishing the above ceremony, we marched 



238 TRAVELS IN 

on our journey, bearingW.S.W., crossing the range 
of Savalu Mountains. The grass, which was very 
long (being nearly six feet), and hangmg across 
the path, quite wet from the previous night's rain, 
soon drenched us as much as a heavy rain would 

» ■ • ■ 

have done, but the sun very soon dried all of us, 
and perspiration succeeded. At two miles we 
reached a fine open plain studded with shea 
butter-trees, now ripe ; their fruit was lying in 
large quantities under the trees. 

The direction of the path now changed more 
southward. Here we passed numbers of ash- 
trees not different from that of Great Britain, 
except that they had a rougher bark, with deeper 
fracture. Journeying a few miles farther, we 
passed through some thick bush, where we found 
large quantities of wild grapes hanging in bunches 
over the path ; the vine clinging to various trees, 
and running from one to another. This grape 
was of the green tribe, very similar to those which 
ornament the walls of our cottages in England, 
but the bunches were not so compact. At eight 
miles, we crossed the River Zoka, running S.E. 
with a rapid stream, on account of its being the 
rainy season. At nine miles we crossed another 



WESTERN AFRICA. 23S 

brook, with excellent water, running in nearly the 
same direction. 

At fourteen miles, we passed some curious 
shrubs of the same description as I observed in the 
Fellattah country ; although in full vegetation, the 
leaves were coloured and marked like the feathers 
of a partridge. There is here also a great variety 
of the aloe tribe, some of which I found to change 
their colour and marks by transplanting to a 
different soil. The wild gwaba is very abundant 
here, and much larger than in the neighbourhood 
of Cape Coast. The yellow fig also abounds here 
as well as the kolla-nut. 

At fifteen miles, we again crossed the river 
Zoka, which at this place runs S. W., twenty yards 
wide, with rocky bottom. Here we were detained 
upwards of two hours, in endeavouring to obtain 
a canoe, but as they are generally kept at a great 
distance from the paths, it takes several hours to 
bring them to the place of crossing. In this 
instance, however, we were totally defeated, for 
my messengers returned with tidings that the 
canoe was broken, so that we had no other method 
of getting across except by swimming. The 
stream at this place was very rapid, consequently 



240 TKATBLg 

I deemed it fnudent, not to swim wooes on horse- 
back, but put on my life-preserrer (an AmericaD 
one). Unfortunately it burst, and was of no use 
to me, but rather entangled me ; and I was conse^ 
quently carried a considerable distance obliquely 
down the stream* Howeyer, I lapded safely on 
some rocks on the opposite mde, but in doing so 
struck my knee against a rock, cutting a portion 
of skin off as well as bruising it. 

My next object was to get my luggage across, 
now much diminished both in bulk and weight. I 
caused some poles, which were growing in abun- 
dance on the banks, to be cut into lengths and 
lashed together, in the form of a raft. In a piece 
of rag torn from the flap of my linen, I tied two 
bullets, attaching them to the end of a ball ol 
sewing twine, which was loosely placed in a 
coil to prevent its getting entangled. The two 
bullets were then attached to a stouter piece 
of string, about one yard in length, used to 
sling them across the river. After the bullets 
were thrown across I pulled the twine over, to 
which a line of about the substance of a clothes' 
line was fixed, the other end of which was fastened 
to the raft. This was placed on the water axon- 



WESTERN AFRICA. 241 

- siderable distance above the landing-place, so as to 
- , allow for the current. Two boxes were placed on 
. the raft, and when ready I pulled them across. This 

- method was repeated until the whole of my luggage, 
as well as that of jny oflScers, was safely landed. 

By this time the greater part of my people had 

swam across also, but my horse still remained 

i It was also fastened to the end of the raft line 

' and soon crossed the stream, but when it reached 

the opposite bank, which was nearly perpendicular 

and the water deep, the poor animal could not 

obtain a footing. A number of people pulled it by 

the halter, till the headstall gave way. The poor 

beast, already considerably exhausted from exer- 

, tion, now made again for the other side, where it 

narrowly escaped being carried over a cataract 

formed of rocks a little below the place of crossing. 

To my great satisfaction, however, the noble little 

animal arrived safely on the opposite bank, shook 

itself, and neighed, looking across as if conscious 

of its being on the wrong side. The little fellow 

was again haltered with stronger material, and was 

launched into the river. 

I now placed myself at a part of the bank close 
to a small creek, where it reached me without 

VOL. n. M 



242 TRAVELS IN 

difficulty^ being lower down the stream. I at 
once saddled him, and resumed our journey. 

I ought to have mentioned the gallant manner 
in which my caboceer and head men's wives took 
the water. They did not even require the raft to 
carry their luggage across, the whole of which was 
contained in large gourd calabashes, about two 
feet and a half diameter. These vessels were 
guided across with one hand, while the other was 
used in swimming. Immediately after crossing 
the river, it commenced raining very heavily, and 
continued to do so for several hours. 

The TO§A was now extremely rough and bad, 
and the path so narrow and worn by the heavy 
rains washing away the soil and leaving the rough 
iron-stone and large roots crossing at short dis- 
tances, as to render the march extremely fatiguing. 
Many of my poor fellows had their feet sadly 
bruised and cut. Having had several attacks of 
fever, I found myself considerably weaker within 
the last few days, and the wound on my leg daily 
enlarged and got in a very bad state. Being 
compelled to walk during the greater part of 
the latter end of this day, I felt more fatigued 
than I had ever done during the whole of my 



WESTBUK AFRICA. 243 

loi^ journey, though many of them had been 
much longer. We crossed several glens and 
brooks, with very steep rocky banks, which no 
English horse would have even attempted, but 
so sure-footed are iJiese Badagry horses, that 
the little fellow scrambled over all without any 
serious accident. In one instance, while climb- 
ing a smooth-surfaced granite rock, it slipped 
from neariy the top to the bottom, where it 
crushed one of the holsters and broke a girt4i, 
but it remained uninjured; however, it courag- 
eously made a second attempt, in which it suc- 
ceeded. 

Owing to the road being so bad, we could 
make but slow progress; we were consequently 
benighted, and from the cloudy atmosphere the 
night was extremely dark. At last I became 
reckless, and blundered along with little or no 
caution, over rocks, through water, and over large 
roots, till about ten o'clock, when we came in sight 
of the lights of the town of Jallakoo. We had 
only made twenty-four miles during the whole of 
this long day. JaUakoo^ like Savalu, was without 
walls or any fence. 

After crossing the Savalu mountains, I was again 

M 2 



244 TRAVELS IN 

in the original kingdom of Dahomey, Jallakoo 
being the first Dahoman town in that direction. 
We were met at the entrance in the principal 
market-place by the old caboceer and his deputy 
who transacted all his official affairs. The ca- 
boceer was apparently upwards of ninety years 
of age. This venerable patriarch was deter- 
mined to receive me with all the usual forma- 
lity, and I was consequently (although I felt 
completely exhausted, as well as all my people) 
requested to dress myself in my uniform, and so 
enter the town. Fortunately, my appointments 
(epaulets and helmet) were tolerably clean, and 
had a very good effect by torch-light. Their 
torches are made of a very peculiar sort of wood, 
which when split into strips bums very brightly. 
These are sometimes smeared with the shea- 
butter. 

After entering the town, we were conducted to 
an inner market-place, where we again halted to 
go through all the tedious ceremony of a Daho- 
man reception. This I could very willingly have 
dispensed with, for I now began to feel very un- 
comfortable, my under-clothing being completely 
saturated with the heavy rain of the afternoon. 



WESTEBN AFRICA. 245 

which had now ceased. I also felt very sensibly 
an inclination to ague, which was considerably 
advanced by being put into a new house, the 
walls and thatch of which were quite green and 
open on three sides, which were merely borne on 
wooden pillars, for they had been informed that 
I did not like close or dark lodgings. I put up 
the little tent which I had constructed inside of the 
house; and a bedstead of bamboo with a rush mat- 
tress, which made an excellent bed, having been 
prepared for me, I was placed inside of it, and a 
strong fire immediately kindled close to me. I 
then ordered some gruel to be made of native meal, 
with which I took a strong dose of James's powder 
and opium, and in a short time the ague ceased, 
but was immediately followed by a burning fever 
with intolerable thirst. I drank about half a pint 
of water every five minutes, till at last the perspi- 
ration became so copious, that I felt almost as 
wet as when in the rain. After this, I felt muck 
easier, and through the powerful influence of 
the opimn I passed a night of pleasant and 
happy dreams, which, on awaking, I sincerely re- 
gretted I could not realize. The caboceer, how- 
ever, declared his night had been anything but 



246 TRAVELS IN 

comfortable or refreshing, for he said I had been 
groaning and talking nearly the whole of it» 
which had much alarmed him. I felt so consider- 
ably weakened from the violence of the attadt, 
and from such copious perspiration^ and the sta- 
pifying effects of the opium, that I was scarcely 
able to stand on my legs. I rallied, however, and 
determined to resist as much as possible the 
powerful influence of the fever, and with a little 
assistance I walked a few times round the yard, 
in the centre of which was a fine large spring 
well, in the solid rock, with excellent water. Of 
this I took a copious draught, which considerably 
refreshed me. 

In a short time the aged caboceer, Nokoomakay, 
sent twenty large calabashes, filled with provision, 
ready cooked for our breakfast ; and immediately 
afterwards his deputy, Adyamee, sent me thirty- 
two more dishes. They both expressed regret that 
I should suffer from sickness while in their country, 
but assured me that nothing should be wanting on 
the part of their fetish-men and women in making 
intercession with the great Fetish for my imme- 
diate recovery, and also expressed their readiness 
to supply me with any thing necessary for my 



WE8TEBN AFRICA. 24? 

comfort After this they retired till we should 
finish our breakfast, when the deputy caboceer 
again paid me a visit; and though they both 
knew I was so ill, begged that I would favour 
them With a visit to the old man's house in my 
r^mentals and on horseback. Upon remon- 
strating, I found that my refusal was likely to 
create dissatisfaction, especially as his messenger 
arrived to inform me that at a council of fetish- 
mto they had come to the concluedon that I 
should speedily recover from my present indispo- 
sition. 

As soon as possible I prepared mjself, and 
proceeded to the court-yard of the old caboceer, 
which was at some distance off. Having a great 
many very low doorways to pass through, I was 
nearly bent double. My horse also with difficulty 
passed through without his saddle, consequently I 
was prevented mounting until I arrived at the 
caboceer's yard. Here I found the venerable 
chief seated under the shade of a large cabbage- 
tree, in readiness to receive us. Upon entering 
the court-yard, I found all his wives and slaves on 
their knees, with their hands together and in 
front of their faces, as if in the attitude of prayer. 



248 TRAVELS IN 

Upon a given signal, they all clapped their hands 
three times, then a short pause ensued, and the 
same clapping of hands was repeated twice 
more. This is a mode of salutation in Why- 
dah to a superior, as also as in all the Daho- 
man kingdom, as well as shaking hands, and 
the cracking of the two second fingers of each 
hand, joined, in the same manner as cracking the 
thumb and finger. The old man seemed much 
interested in seeing my horse saddled, and also 
with my arms, and the manner of placing them 
on the saddle to carry them. He next put a 
great many questions to me respecting white 
man's country, and seemed much astonished at my 
answers. 

The town of Jallakoo is situated on a flat- 
surfaced rock, at the base of a mountain, from 
which the town takes its name. This is the 
most picturesque of all the mountains I have 
yet seen in the Mahee or Dahoman kingdom. 
One part of it is formed by the largest blocks 
of granite I ever saw, placed irregularly upon 
each other: in some respects their position was 
not unlike Stonehenge. Large cotton-trees in 
many instances grew between these immense 



WESTERN AFRICA. 249 

rocks, which support the upper or horizontal ones. 
In fact, I have never seen any thing so grand and so 
picturesque as the mountain of Jallakoo. It is also 
the last we touch upon on our return to Abomey. 
Here I made particular inquiry respecting their 
mode of agriculture, and the sort of grain princi- 
pally used, as well as what was the most profit- 
able, and its time of ripening. Guinea corn is 
much used here, as well as several sorts of maize 
and rice. I was informed that in this country the 
Guinea com requires nearly seven moons to ripen, 
rice five, and maize between four and five months, 
though at Setta and Paweea I found a smaller 
sort of Indian com, which ripens in two and a 
half and three moons, and also another sort which 
ripens in four moons. They never consider the 
utility of selecting any particular sort of seed; 
but after my return to Abomey, the King, who 
is a great agriculturist, informed me that the 
latest corn known will, if planted in the proper 
season, ripen in less than four moons, and also 
told me that the time of ripening had in many 
instances been mistaken, from a want of know- 
ledge, and planting the com too soon before the 
rainy season. 

M 3 



250 TRAVBLS IN 

We were supplied with plenty of peto during 
our pjJaver. Here were several beautifiil crown- 
biids walking about the market-place quite tame. 
The old caboceer expressed great anxiety to have 
the names of himself and head men, as well as his 
principal wive's name, recorded in my book ; and I 
here give them according to my promise, as 
follows: — 



First Caboceer . . 


. NakooBiakay. 


Wife*8 name . . . Agbally. 


Second Caboceer . . Adyamee. 


Wife's name .... Whendie. 


Head men. 


Tetay» 


Dakay. 


Atakpa. 


Ozee. 


Bosou.* 


Mokosa. 


Kndjo,* 


Wzoto. 


Adamazo. 


Tootee. 


Chigyea, 


Takpwadda. 



After this ceremony I was allowed to depart to 
my own quarters, where I changed my dress, but 
had scarcely finished when I was besieged by 
visitors from all parts of the town, as well as tihe 
ne^hbouring villages, many of whom brought 

^ Tbe names Tetay, Bosou, and Kudjo, are all common aloi^^ 
the coast from Wbydah to Cape Coast, and are given from the 
days of the week on which they are bom. 



WESTERN AFRICA. 251 

me provisions ready cooked, and several live 
animals. One rich merchant, named Sisinau, 
brought me thirty-two large calabashes of pro- 
vision, as well as plenty of peto. Many of the 
fetish-men and women brought me gruels of various 
compositions, all of which were very palatable, 
being generally sweetened with wild honey, which 
is very abundant in the whole of the country 
traversed in this direction. 

In the evening I was again visited by the two 
caboceers, whom I treated with a flask of rum to 
distribute amongst his head men. I also gave him 
a piece of romall (cloth), which I invariably gave 
the caboceers in whose towns I lodged, as well as 
some Jew's harps, and two knives, with some 
papers of needles and a few thimbles, which were 
much prized. I then signified my intention to 
proceed on my journey early next morning, when 
the old man pressed me much to stop another day. 
This I certainly would have done, had I not been 
afraid of being more seriously attacked by fever 
and ague, as my quarters were very pleasant, and 
the people extremely kind. A great many visitors 
came with small presents during the remainder of 
the evening to inquire after my health, as well 



252 TRATELB IN 

as for the purpose of seeing white man, to all of 
whom I gave some trifling article in return. The 
thermometer ranged at Jallakoo from 7V to 80*, 
Fahrenheit, which, it will be observed, is much 
colder than on the coast in the coldest season. 



WESTEBN AFRICA. 253 



CHAPTER XI. 

My continued Illness — The Koffo — The Langhbo — Bivouac — 
Keep Sentinel — Shea-butter Trees — Springs impregnated with 
Iron — Gijah — Poverty of the Caboceer — Hospitality of Atihoh, 
the Merchant — Doko— Met by the Avoga of Whydah— Eti- 
quette with regard to the Time of entering a Town — Enter 
Abomey — My Servant Maurice takes to his Bed — Sudden 
Change in the Temperature — Visit to the King— His grati- 
fication at my safe Return — My Conversation with his Ma- 
jesty — ^His Views with regard to the Slave Trade— His desire 
to cede Whydah to the English Qovemment — Dictates a 
Letter to me to that eifect — His Costly Tobes — Singular Piece 
of Patch-Work. 

August 2 1st, — ^Early in the morning I got up 
to prepare for the march^ but although the attack 
of ague had been lighter than on the previous 
night, I still felt extremely weak and in low 
spirits. To remedy this, I again resorted to 
another dose of sedative of opium, wluch in a 
short time operated effectually. The caboceers and 
a great part of the population accompanied me 
some distance out of the town, during which the 
Jallakoo soldiers kept up a constant but irregular 
fire of musketry. The old man then shook hands, 
expressing every good wish for my future success, 
hoping that I should soon return to his country 



2o4 TEAVBUB IN 

again, that he might see me once more before he 
should die. This solemn expression made for a 
time a deep impression on my mind. Though in 
a comparatiyely savage state this venerable patri- 
arch was conscious that the hand of death would 
soon be upon him. 

Our bearing was now SS.W. and the plain 
thicklj wooded with shea-butter and other trees. 
The road was extremely bad, with rocks resembling 
petrified wood of very fine grain with iron-stone 
rock. The grass was eight feet long and resembled 
reeds. At ten miles and a half we crossed the 
river Koffo, running NN.E. and at seventeen 
and a half we crossed the river Langhbo, runniDg 
eastward. Being much fatigued, and still suffer- 
ing from fever, and no town or village near, we 
resolved to encamp on the plain, near this river, 
where we were sure of obtaining water. The 
grass being extremely long, we were obliged to 
cut it down, wherever a party of ten or a dozen 
men selected a place to lie down. Watch fires 
were also kindled around the camp, and fortu- 
nately, from the ample means aiSbrded at Jallakoo, 
we were pretty well stocked with provisions for 
one night at least. 

This place not being far distant from the 



WESTERN AFRICA. 255 

Annagoo country, which people in former times 
had frequently sent kidnapping parties stealthily 
into the outskirts of the Dafaoman kingdom, it 
was considered necessary to keep sentinels and 
outposts during the night. Every man also ex- 
lunined his piece to ascertain if the priming were 
good. I also examined the caps of my own piece, 
but this seemed the reverse of satisfactory. 

The caboceer asked me if I was afraid to trust 
myself with him, assuring me that my guard, 
he knew> would perish to a man before they 
would allow me to be molested. I admitted his 
assertion, but reminded him that it was always 
prudent to be, as far as possible, prepared for the 
worst. Still he assured me that his men were 
quite sufficient for our protection. . My cook 
immediately commenced preparing my supper of 
boiled fowls and rice, with a few shalots, which 
made an agreeable soup. This, sdthough suffer* 
ing much from fever, I relished much. I then 
took another dose of opium, and soon under its 
powerful influence fell fast asleep. 

August 22d. — Early in the morning we again 
prepared for the march. Several of my men felt 
the efiects of sleeping on the wet ground. I also 



256 TEA^YELS IN 

for a time felt a cold, shiveriiig sensation, but 
before mounting my horse, I took some James's 
powder, and, as soon as the sun arose, I got into a 
copious perspiration, which considerably relieved 
me. Our bearing was now SS.E. ; the plain 
stiU studded with shea butter-trees and small 
shrubs; the road still bad, and worn very deep^ 
like narrow sheep-tracks. 

Alter marching for twelve miles very rapidly 
among small rocks, and across several deeply sunken 
streams, we passed a great number of shea butter- 
trees, which had been lately scorched to destroy 
the fruit. Here we found several excellent springs, 
impregnated with iron, strongly carbonized, of 
which I took a copious draught, which proved 
very refreshing to me. The road now began to 
improve, the surface changing into clay and sand 
of a drab colour. The stream, for the distance of 
two miles, ran along the path, which formed a 
channeL This gave my poor fellows an opportunity 
of cooling their feet, now much cut and bruised 
from the bad roads. I halted here for nearly an 
hour to give them an opportunity of refreshing 
themselves, and filling their calabashes with this 
water, which was much superior to that which we 



WE8TEBN AFRICA. 257 

were carrying. During the whole of this time, 
many of my men remained standing in the water. 

At twenty miles we arrived at the town of 
Gijah, which is a fine open town of consider- 
able size. The caboceer, though represented 
to be a very good and generous character, was 
extremely poor, consequently, after calling upon 
him, and the usual forms of reception had been 
observed, we accepted the kind invitation of a 
wealthy merchant named Atihoh, who entertained 
us in a most courteous manner, and in less than 
an hour supplied us with abundance of provisions 
ready cooked, with a calabash filled with the 
finest gwabias I ever saw, and plenty of very 
good peto. During the evening the caboceer, 
Agballah, and his head men, sent me ten large 
calabashes filled with provision. He did not visit 
me till I sent for him, assigning as a reason that 
he was ashamed of his poverty. 

The poor old man seemed much pleased when 
I assured him that I was as glad to see him, as 
if he had been the richest caboceer in the Daho- 
man kingdom. He replied, "White man must be 
good man, for black man don't want to see poor 
caboceer." I presented him with a piece of cloth 



258 TRAVELS IN 

and some little articles of hardware, which ap- 
peared to give him great satisfaction. I also gave 
each of his head men some trifling presents. 

They were conscious of their master's poverty, 
but seemed anxious to assist him as much as 
possible, for they sent me, in the caboceer's name, 
twenty-three very large calabashes, filled with 
provision; so that with several smaller presents 
from some of the principal inhabitants, myself and 
people were amply supplied with every thing neces- 
sary. During the evening we were visited by great 
numbers of the inhabitants, who seemed much grati- 
fied with an opportunity of seeing a white man. 

August 23d. — ^Early in the morning my host 
paid me the usual morning visit, bringing me a 
few choice dishes for my own breakfast, and also 
a present of one goat, several fowls, one large 
African duck, and a number of rare pigeons with 
feathered legs and toes, and ten large dishes of 
provision for my soldiers. Soon after breakfast 
we marched f6r Doko, accompanied for a short 
distance by the caboceer and head-men, attended 
by about twenty of his soldiers, who kept up 
an irregular firing of muskets as far as they 
accompanied us. 



WESTERN AFRICA. 259 

After leaving the town the durtance of three 

miles, the road again became very bad, and my 

little horse lo^t one of its shoes, and soon began to 

show its loss. However, this day's journey was a 

very short one, and we marched at a very rapid 

rate, which, in short journeys, we always found 

less fatiguing than marching at a slow rate> 

ani} remaining long on foot, exposed to the sun« 

At twelve miles we arrived at Doko, where we 

were met by the caboceer and his elder brother, 

the caboceer of Whydah, who had remained at 

Abomey ever since I had left that capital for Ihe 

Mahee and Fellattah country. He had been sent 

this stage to meet me by order of his Majesty. 

The caboceer of Whydah is called the avoga, 
dr captain, caboceer of white men, which accounts 
for his being sent instead of Mayho, to meet me. 
He being an excellent fellow, I felt much gratifi- 
cation in thus unexpectedly meeting him. Awas- 
soo, the caboceer of Doko, having already been 
acquainted with my intended visit, had prepared 
dinner for myself and party, which consisted of 
twenty-two large dishes of provision. The avoga 
had also brought with him plenty of liquors of 
difierent descriptions, which were very freely 
distributed among the people. I was now con-^ 



260 TBATELS IN 

siderably recovered from the effects of my fever, 
flo that I could take part in their merriment and 
jest. My guard were now near home, and, 
although two days before, the poor fellows were 
worn out with fatigue and foot-sore, they were 
now all life and jollity over their peto-pots, in 
which they indulged very freely. Merriment w^as 
kept up tUl a late hour, and this being a si^all 
town, nearly the whole of the inhabitants came to 
bid us welcome. 

Aug. 24th. — About sunrise we began to prepare 
for marching, but as our journey was a very short 
one, we remained several hours longer, so that we 
might arrive at Abomey about mid-day. It is 
a custom in Dahomey for all strangers of note 
visiting that capital to enter the town when 
the sun is at its meridian. This is considered to 
be a necessary observance for all distinguished 
visitors. 

Upon entering the outer gates of Abomey, we 
were met by Mayho, and several distinguished 
members of his Majesty's household, with an ad- 
ditional band of music, which played till my arrival 
at my old quarters. Upon entering, I must confess I 
felt great satisfaction, and a feeling of gratitude to 
the Great Buler of all things flashed over my 



WESTERN AFRICA. 261 

mind. My first inquiry was, whether my white 
servant, Maurice, whom I sent back from Baffo, 
was still alive, not finding him in the apartment 
formerly occupied by him. I was told he was 
still alive, and until he heard the sound of the 
drums announcing my return was walking about 
occasionally, and giving directions respecting his 
cooking; Mayho having appointed a cook and 
other attendants to wait on him. But on our 
entering the gates he took to his bed, and never 
again seemed to rally. I visited him immediately, 
but found him much reduced. He told me that 
every attention had been paid to him, and that the 
King had appointed a native doctor to attend him, 
but he was now suffering from dysentery and quite 
exhausted. 

I used the prescribed remedies as far as my 
means extended, but having no European pro- 
vision, I was compelled to do the best I could 
with him upon native diet. I had great difficulty 
in convincing him of my forgiveness for his con- 
duct, which I have already mentioned. He fan- 
cied that my intention was upon my return to the 
coast to deliver him up to the authorities for 
punishment ; and I cannot help thinking that in 



262 TRAVELS IN 

gpite of mj assurance to the ccmtrar^, the poor 
fellow would never believe that I should not 
do so. 

Aug. 25th. — The weather now suddenly became 
alarmingly cold for an African climate. This was 
accompanied with heavy rains. During the night 
the thermometer fell to 70% and at noon on the 
following day did not rise higher than 77° Fahren- 
heit. In the night many of my people caught 
cold, as well as myself. My poor servant Maurice 
was still extremely I0W5 and without any hopes of 
recovery. I ordered some warm water and soap to 
be brought to me, and with my sponge I washed the 
whole of his person. At the same time I changed 
the whole of his clothes and had them waefaed. 

The King now sent for me to the palace, where 
he received me with every mark of kindness and 
respect; and after shaking me heartily by the haud, 
immediately proposed the health of the Queen of 
England and all the royal family. In return^ of 
course, I proposed the health of himself. M! y 
own health was next drank, after which the King 
gave me a familiar slap on the back with his open 
hand, saying, "White man don't know proper fear, 
nor take proper care. In black man's country," he 



WESTERN AFBICA. 263 

eaidj '* 1 make him much fear^ when he hear I go 
into far country beyond Mahee," meaning the Fel- 
lattah country. This was conveyed to me by my 
own interpreter. He asked me, what the Queen 
of England would say if I had been killed, when 
in his care or under his protection. He added, 
that all white men would say, his own people had 
killed me, and that would bring shame upon his 
head. 

He, however, expressed his great satisfaction at 
my safe return, and put a thousand questions to 
me respecting the Fellattah country, and whether 
they mentioned his name there, together with 
numerous questions respecting their soldiers. He 
next spoke .upon the Slave Trade, and asked if I 
could not make intercession with Her Majesty of 
England to send an order to our men-of-war not 
to take any slave ships till they had entirely left 
the coast. I told him that it would be more for 
his advantage that the slaves should be captured 
by English men-of-war, as a greater number 
would be required to fill their places. 

His reply was very different to what I had ex- 
pected. He explained, that although he supposed 
many white men believed he sold the greater part 
of the slaves sent from that country, he could 



264 TRAVELS IN 

assure me it was not the case ; but the caboceers, 
whose soldiers captured them^ were always con- 
sidered to be the owners of slaves taken in war, 
when the enemy were the aggressors, with the 
exception of those who were considered unfit for 
the market. These latter were considered to be his 
(the King's) property, and were sent to the diflPerent 
palaces to assist in the duties of those establish- 
ments ; but he admitted that all prisoners taken 
by his wives, or female soldiers, were his property, 
and that the caboceers always pay a nominal duty 
upon all slaves taken in war when sold. From 
various inquiries I was informed that by far the 
greater number of slaves transported from this 
country are either the property of those on whose 
establishments they are bred, or are purchased 
from the parents who are free ; though at the 
decease of any caboceer, the whole of his property 
is considered as belonging to the King. Xhe 
present King, however, seldom exercises his 
authority on these occasions. 

They asked the reason why Englishmen had 
abandoned the Slave-Trade, and how we obtained 
people to perform labour. I told him that English- 
men were now disgusted with the conduct of their 
forefathers in making a property of the poor black 



WESTERN Ai'RICA. 266 

man^ who, because he was uneducated, was sold 
like sheep, and sent to a far country, and there 
compelled to labour for the remainder of his life 
in bondage; that Englishmen had paid an enormous 
sum of money for the liberation of their slaves, and 
were determined that the black man should be 
considered on an equality with a white man, and 
were endeavouring to teach them "sense," the 
term he used for education. He had reminded me, 
that he had sent some boys and girls to the Mis- 
sion-school at Cape Coast to learn senses like white 
men, saying that he could (when they returned) 
communicate directly with the English governor 
at Cape Coast without sending his messages 
through the Spanish or Portuguese^ 

To the next question, I replied, we could get 
plenty of labourers to work voluntarily, by paying 
them sufficient to keep them in food and clothing ; 
but he declared that unless a slave, black man 
would never do any work except on his own plant- 
ation. However, he expressed his high opinion of 
Englishmen for condescending to put themselves 
upon the same level as black men, at the same 
time remarking that it was no wonder his father 
always taught him to respect an Englishman. 

VOL. II. JN 



266 TRAVELS IN 

He admitted our principles to be very humane 
and justy but remarked, that it would be difficult 
to abolish slave-holding in his country, as the 
children of all slaves were the property of the 
owner of the parent, and were treated as one of 
his own family ; and that if a king were to inter- 
fere and abolish this law, it would cause a revo- 
lution in the kingdom, as it would affect all his 
head men and half heads, besides rendering those 
domestic slaves homeless and destitute. 

I told him it was not domestic slavery that we 
so much objected to, as the forcing them from their 
homes and kindred, separating them for ever from 
all relatives, and dooming them to incessant labour 
all their lives. He asked me whether, when pa- 
rents voluntarily sold their children, they would 
then feel any regret. I replied, if the parents did 
not, they were unnatural, and I was sure that the 
children would; and to illustrate this, I pointed 
out a she-goat with two kids, and asked him if one 
were taken away, whether the young would not 
show symptoms of regret as well as the mother. 
At this he laughed heartily, but remarked, that 
the he-goat, the father of the kids referred to, 
would feel quite indifferent. I could not help 
smiling in return. 



1 



WESTERN AFRICA. 267 

The King touched his forehead with his fingers, 
saying, Englishman was wonderful and good man. 
He then declared that for his own part he had no 
wish to maintain the Slave- Trade, neither did he 
wish to store riches. All he required was to have 
sufficient income to pay his officers and caboceers-- 
the usual quantity of cowries to ptesent his people 
with, as is usual at the annual custom. This was 
the full extent of his ambition. 

I then proposed to him that he should extend 
agriculture, and establish a permanent trade, 
which would be encouraged by all civilized 
nations ; and observed, that by imposing a slight 
duty upon all articles of trade, besides the profits 
he might obtain, a revenue would be created for 
him much superior to what he derived from the 
slave-dealing. He replied, that he was very willing 
to adopt the proposed measure if England would 
only make some proposals to him on the subject. 
I explained at some length the nature and sys- 
tem of trade, with which he was quite unacquainted. 
He remarked that he had been informed, we had 
condescended to make treaties with and had sent 
missionaries to the Calabar and Bonny rivers, to 
the petty chiefs of those places, whose treaties 
could be of no permanent duration or benefit, as 

n2 



268 TRAVELS m 

they possessed no territorj^ nor had they any fixed 
laws ; besides, they were always involved in wars 
with the petty neighbouring states ; so that they 
were often chiefs to-day, and had their heads cut 
off the next; that they could neither ensure any 
permanent trade with us, nor afford us any protec- 
tion in the event of our establishing factories at 
any of these places. 

He said he should be ready and very glaid to 
make any reasonable arrangement with the Eng- 
lish Government for the abolition of slavery, and 
the establishment of another trade, and added, that 
though he had invited us to send missionaries to 
his country to advise with him, none but one Eng- 
lish fetishman, Mr. Freeman, the Wesleyan mis- 
onary (of whom he spoke highly), iiad visited him; 
that all he wanted was to see plenty of English- 
men in his kingdom, and especially in his capital 
He also offered to build them houses to live in, 
without any charge, and give them as much land 
as they chose to cultivate. 

He expressed his ardent desire to encourage 
cultivation and a system of agriculture ; and 
reminded me, that he had long ago issued or- 
ders that all the spare land in and round the 
town of Griwhee (Whydah) should be cultivated 



WESTERN AFRICA. 269 

with a view of lessening the chances of epidemic 
diseases. He also expressed his earnest desire to 
give up Whydah to the English Government, with 
full powers to exercise our own laws and customs ; 
and also declared his readiness to afford us every 
necessary assistance and protection, and to give us 
any quantity of land in the vicinity of that settle- 
ment we might require for agricultural purposes. 
He added, that when we should have ob- 
tained possession of Whydah, we should have 
power t(f use our own discretion respecting the 
Slave-Trade ; and that, as Whydah was the 
principal residence of the greatest slave-dealers 
on this part of the coast, we could with much 
more propriety exert our authority to prevent 
alave traflSc than he himself, particularly as 
he was under great obligations to a certain 
large slave-merchant in that settlement. He 
said, moreover, that he had always entertained 
a hope that some day or other the English would 
t^ain establish themselves in Whydah, in con- 
sequence of which he had always kept a tem- 
porary governor in the English fort since our 
abandonment of the place. 

He declared that he would build us a new fort> 
either on the old site, or on any other spot, upon 



270 TRAVELS IN 

our own plan, and at his own expense. He had^ 
he said; reflised possession of Wbydah to the 
Prince de Joinville, stating his determination to 
treat with none but the Queen of England^ who 
was the greatest of all white sovereigns ; that he 
had for a length of time been endeavouring to 
establish, as far as he was able, a code of laws 
similar to those of England ; for he c(Hisidered 
them to be more just in most cases than the old 
Dahoman laws, which he confessed to be very* 
absurd. But, though he thought so, still as 
many of the old, absurd customs, which ^till 
existed, were of a comparatively harmless nature, 
he had hitherto permitted them to remain, as he 
considered it dangerous amongst a people so 
long accustomed to these usages to revolutionize 
the whole at once ; but he approved of commenc- 
ing with the most unreasonable and injurious, 
and graduallj progressing, as in fact he had 
done. He also assured me that the good effects 
of his new laws were manifest even in the Mahee 
country, for within the last two years several 
petty kingdoms in that and the Annagoo country 
had voluntarily been ceded to his government. 

He dictated to me a letter to the Secretary 
of State for the Colonies, in which he formally 



WESTERN AFRICA. 271 

ceded Whydah to the English Government. After 
this letter was concluded, he requested me to read 
it over, lest any mistake should have occurred ; and 
when he found it satisfactory, he held the upper 
end of the pen while I signed his name. We then 
drank to the health of her Britannic Majesty, dur- 
ing which a constant fire of musketry was kept 
up. I next proposed the King of Dahomey's health, 
which was followed by his drinking my own health. 
He then ordered an immense quantity of varie- 
gated umbrellas, or rather canopies, to be brought 
out for my inspection, and requested me to make 
a memorandum of several of their patterns, desiring 
me to order a number of them to be sent from 
England^ 

He afterwards showed me about forty tobes of the 
most costly embroidery in gold and silver, on a 
ground of silk velvet of various colours. I was 
also shown a piece of patch-work, which I 
believe I have previously aUuded to, which the 
King boasted was composed of remnants or speci- 
mens of cloth from every country of the civilized 
world, as well as every country in Africa. This 
piece of patch-work, I was informed, measures 
one thousand yards in length, and eight yards in 
breadth. I was next desired to take a drawing of 



272 TRAVELS IN 

the King's throne, or chair of state. This is a 
very handsome and ingenious piece of carving, 
from one solid piece of wood. It has three seats, 
one elevated about two feet above the other, the 
first and second forming steps to the highest; 
on the highest the King never sits except on state 
occasions. Three skulls form a foot-stool to the 
first seat, being those ofthreekingB killed in battle. 



I 



WESTERN AFRICA. 273 



CHAPTER XII. 

ConyerBation with the King of Dahomey continued — Vieit Coo- 
massie, another Palace of the King — Great Number of Human 
Skulls — Skulls of Kings taken in Battle — Death-drums — 
Peculiarity of Skulls— Craniums of the Fellattahs — Skulls 
of Rival Kings — Criminal Case heard by the King, and his 
Award — ^Death of my Servant Maurice — Regret of the King- 
Christian Burial of my Servant — The King's Kindness to me — 
My increasing Illness and Depression of Spirits — Method of Pro- 
curing Food in the Bush by the Dahoman Soldiers — My Alarm 
at the Dangerous State of my Wound—Make Preparations to 
amputate my Limb — My Recovery — My last Conversation 
with the King — The King's Presents to the Queen of England 
— Present from him to her M^esty of a Native Girl — Escorted 
out of Abomey, and Departure for Whydah — Absurd Custom — 
Canamina — Ahgrimah — My Pigeons from the Kong Moun- 
tains — Non-Arrival of some of my Carriers — Punishment 
awarded them for their Roguery on their Arrival. 

August 26th. — ^The King again sent for me to 
visit him at the palace. He met me in his usual 
familiar manner, with a hearty shake of the hand^ 
and a familiar slap on my back with his open 
hand. A table had been already spread with the 
necessary viands. He proposed the Queen of 
England^s health ; after which he wished me to 
proceed to a large palace, about a mile distant, 
called Coomassie, (after the capital of Ashantee), 

n;j 



274 TRAVELS IN 

there to take the plan and dimensions of a number 
of different sized war tents. These displayed inge- 
nuity and taste, superior to many European nations. 
The T'^JTig ordered a number similar to them to 
be made in England, and sent to him as soon as 
possible. This palace was built and named about 
the time when the present King threw off his 
allegiance to the kingdom of Ashantee, the King 
of which formerly boasted that he could hold 
Dahomey in vassalage. 

After the building of this palace, the King 
of Dahomey declared himself capable of holding 
Ashantee in vassalage. The palace is considered 
memorable on this account. In this as well 
in several other palaces we visited on this day, 
we were entertained with every variety of luxu- 
ries used at the King^s table. Upon my return 
to his Majesty, I found a number of people 
busily employed in carrying out of the stores 
a number of human skulls, taken in various 
countries during the wars. Previous to my 
journey into the mountains, I had made a request 
to the King for leave to inspect a few skulls 
of natives of the different countries he had con- 
quered, with the view of comparing them, and 
also to make drawings of some of them. 



L 



WESTERN AFRICA. 275 

When between two and three thousand skulls 
had been carried out and placed in the parade- 
ground in front of the palace^ I begged the King 
not to send for anv more. His state chair was 
placed in the centre of a circle, formed by arrang- 
ing the large calabashes or gourds containing the 
skulls, in that form. The heads of the kings 
were placed in large brass pans, about two feet in 
diameter. The heads of caboceers and headmen 
were in calabashes about the same size as the 
former; and to my great astonishment, when 
curiosity prompted me to make inquiry re- 
specting any one of these skulls, a long detail 
was immediately given me of all the circum- 
stances connected with the parties when alive. 

Though these people do not write, with the 
exception of the Mohammedan portion of them, 
yet they possess very retentive memories. The 
death-drums were also brought out on this occa- 
sion. They were four in number, and of different 
sizes, but much larger than the large drums in 
use in the British army. The largest measured 
nine feet four inches in length, and the whole 
were ornamented with human skulls, several of 
which I observed were deficient of any suture 
across the upper part. This appeared in the 



276 TBAYELS TH 

proportion of one in twelve^ and the skulls without 
any longitudinal division were as one in twenty- 
seven. I found the skulls of the Mahees gene- 
rally to recede from the nasal bone or lower part 
of the forehead to the top in a greater angle than 
those of any other country. 

The Fellattahs are very diflFerent in their cra- 
nium and general development from the others, 
having high, square foreheads, and a quick and 
bright eye. They are slighter in person than either 
the Dahomans or Mahees ; but are generally 
well formed, sinewy in their limbs, and capable 
of enduring great fatigue. The Dahomans are a 
very fine and generally tall race of people, both 
male and female, and the most honest of any 
people I ever met with. 

It is worthy of remark, that unlike any other 
uncivilized people I have seen, during my stay at 
Abomey I was never asked by any individual for an 
article of even the most trifling value, nor ever lost 
anything, except what was stolen by my people from 
the coast. The Dahoman laws are certainly severe, 
but they have the desired eflFect. In the collection 
of skulls, I found a number of them ornamented 
with brass^ and rivetted together with iron. These 
were the heads of rival kings^ who were killed by 



mtmm^v^^ 



WESTERN AFRICA, 277 

the King^s women, or wives. Amongst these 
-was the richly ornamented skull of the King of 
Nahpoo, in the Annagoo country ; his name was 
Adaffb. His toMm was taken, and he himself 
made prisoner, by the female regiments, com- 
manded by the female commander, Apadomey. 
Many of the skulls stiU retained the hair. It 
appears that this part of the human body has 
always been a favourite ornament on the palace- 
walls of Abomey, and even iu the walls, entrance 
of gateways,* and doorways ; though the present 
King has not placed them on the walls of the new 
palace called Coomassie. 

A guard is mounted every morning at each of the 
palaces, and there is a resident governor. After 
taking several drawings of the skidls of several 
kings killed in war, his Majesty invited me to be 
present at the trial of a prisoner who had been 
brought from a town in the Mahee country, 
where he had already been tried, upon an accu- 
sation of adultery with one of the caboceers' 
wives, and the sentence of death had been 
passed upon him. The man, however, being 
conscious of his innocence, appealed to the Court 
of Abomey, where all the witnesses were again 
examined and cross-questioned by the King him- 



278 TRAVELS IN 

self. It was now distinctly proved that tile whole 
was a false accusation^ and the poor fellow was 
immediately liberated ; but the caboceer, who 
had been his accuser^ and fourteen of his false 
witnesses^ were seized and imprisoned for trial on 
a future day, when doubtless the whole of them 
would suffer death. 

The King, with great satisfaction, pointed out to 
me the beneficial eflfects of this new law which he 
had made, observing that formerly, in the Mahee 
country, when a caboceer felt animosity against 
a person in his power, he could at any time get 
up an accusation against him, and also ensure such 
evidence as would suit his purpose ; but that now 
the accused had the power of appealing to the court 
of Abomey, which had been the means of eflPec- 
tually checking such practices, as he invariably 
put the accusers to death when he found the 
accused to be innocent. 

As I felt very unwell and feverish, I begged 
the King to allow me to return to my quarters, 
which he readily acceded to, and with his usual 
kindness inquired if he could do any thing for 
me. He walked with me nearly to my dwelling, 
during which a continual fire of musketry was 
kept up until I entered my own gates. 



WESTERN AFRICA. 279 

I found my servant, Maurice, still weaker, and 
could not prevail on him to partake of any nou- 
rislmient. It was now evident that his earthly 
career was near its termination. I asked him if 
he would like me to read prayers to him; and 
intimated to him the near approach of his disso- 
lution. He consented to my reading prayers; 
but said, he thought he should recover. I asked 
him to give me his father's address, so that in 
the event of his death I might write to him; 
but, for what reason I am at a loss to imagine, 
he revised to give it me, but confessed that he 
had been using a false name ; and that his father's 
name was not Maurice. He expressed a wish 
to be carried to Whydah, which was speedily 
arranged to be done on the following morning. 
My fever increasing, I was now compelled to go 
to bed. 

Early on the 27th August the carriers re- 
ported themselves ready to proceed with Maurice 
to Whydah. By this time, my fever had so 
increased, that from giddiness I was unable to 
stand without assistance ; and poor Maurice, being 
brought in upon the hammock, proved to be in 
a dying state ; and in a few minutes afterwards 
expired without a struggle. A messenger was 



280 TRAVELS IN 

immediately sent to the King to inform him of 
the melancholy fact, who expressed extreme re- 
gret at it, remarking, that he feared the occur- 
rence might prevent other Englishmen from visit- 
ing him ; but I told him that it was the will of 
God, and that no person was to blame ; on the 
contrary, that every thing had been done which 
our means aflforded. The King then ordered 
four men to dig a grave for Maurice, and sent me 
a flask of rum to give the carriers and grave- 
diggers. He also sent two fine cloths to wrap the 
body in. He would not allow it to be interred 
in the sepulchre appointed for strangers, but it 
was buried in the court-yard in front of Mayho's 
house, with every mark of respect. 

Great attention was paid by all the spectators 
during the burial-service, which I read. I was 
now left without a white man, and, for a moment, 
I felt the loneliness of my situation. This me- 
lancholy feeling was augmented by my severe 
indisposition. My wounded leg began to swell 
and to become discoloured. In the afternoon, 
the King sent for me to come and see him, if 
possible. I felt myself unable to walk, but was 
carried in a hammock to the palace. The King 
seemed in great trouble at my illness. He told 



^ 



WESTERN AFRICA. 281 

me that he had sent for me to show me an ele- 
phant which had been killed by one of Mayho^s 
soldiers. He wished to know if I could preserve 
a part of it to take with me to Whydah, for 
which place I intended to proceed in a few days. 
I told him that I was a&aid I could not preserve 
it, so as to be able to carry it with me ; he pro- 
mised to send me a dish of the flesh for my din- 
ner on the following day. 

He begged me to join in drinking the health of 
the Queen of England, and the whole of the Royal 
Family, in cherry brandy, which he strongly recom- 
mended as beneficial in all cases of fever* This I 
did : he then informed me that he had a regiment 
of female soldiers (his wives), as well as a regiment 
of males, on the parade in front of the palace, 
waiting to show me how they procured their food 
when in the bush. 

At that moment, I felt myself a much fitter 
subject for my mat or bed; but, as this parade 
was got up entirely for my gratification, I deter- 
mined to remain as long as possible. Accordingly, 
I accompanied the King to the parade-ground, 
where we found the male and female soldiers 
formed in line, with front and rear ranks, the 



282 TRAVELS IX 

latter on the right. At seventy yards^ distance 
from their front was a high swish, or clay wall, 
parallel with the Une of soldiers. Close to this 
were fastened, by pegs driven into the ground, 
a number of sheep, goats, ducks, guinea-fowls, 
and the common fowl. The whole were placed in. 
that position for the purpose of illustrating the 
method by which the army procured its food, 
when on march in the bush, which abounds 
with game. Each of the soldiers was armed either 
with a long Danish or English musket, charged 
with iron bullets. 

The females commenced firing from the right, 
advancing one pace to the front in succession, as 
they came to the present. I was certainly much 
surprised to see the certainty of their deadly aim. 
Although at seventy yards distance, very few 
missed their object ; and I did not observe one 
who fired wide of a man^s body. The female 
commanders presented me with eight large Mus- 
covy ducks and some Guinea-fowls. The male 
soldiers fired with even more precision than the 
females, but I believe that the whole of them 
were picked shots j but even if that were the 
case, the feat was astonishing, and would have 



L 



WESTERN AFRICA. 283 

done credit to our best riflemen. I became so 
much exhausted and sick at the stomach at last^ 
that I was obliged to be immediately carried 
home. My leg, also, was now very much swollen, 
and darker in colour, and became very painfdl, 
with every symptom of gangrene or mortification. 
I confess I felt considerable alarm at observing 
these symptoms so rapidly increasing. By this 
time, however, I had become inured to hardships 
and sufiering, and had learned to set httle value 
upon my life, and could very readily have recon- 
dled myself to share the same grave with poor 
Maurice. My principal anxiety was respecting 
my Journal, a great part of which was only in 
notes ; consequently the probabihty was that my 
kind and generous patrons would never get pos- 
session of it, though this was the only tribute of 
gratitude I should ever have it in my power to 
return them. I, therefore, made up my Journal 
and papers in the form of a parcel, addressed to 
the Geographical Society, with strict injunctions 
to my servants to forward them to Mr. Hutton of 
Cape Coast. 

My people were very much alarmed at my 
condition, as were also Mayho and the King^s 



284 TRAVELS m 

messengers^ who visited me every two hours. My 
leg was still rapidly getting worse, the blackness 
progressing upwards. I now began to measure 
my time, calculating upon my death before morn- 
ing. I had seen several amputations performed, 
and came to the determination to attempt to am- 
putate my own leg, should it appear absolutely 
necessary. In the meantime, I ordered poultices 
to be prepared from Indian com meal, and yeast 
from the peto. This was immediately applied. 
I then had all my amputating instruments placed 
in readiness, with the necessary quantity of band- 
ages; and I instructed my people what they 
were to do in the event of my fainting while 
endeavouring to perform the operation. They did 
not seem altogether to relish iny instructions, but 
promised to do their best in obedience to my 
orders. 

It may be considered that madness alone could 
have suggested such an attempt ; but it must also 
be observed, that necessity under certain circum- 
stances urges the performance of many things 
bordering on impossibilities; and in despair we 
are always ready to grasp even at a shadow of 
hope. 



WESTERN AFRICA. 285 

However, thank God ! I had not occasion to 
make the attempt. The poultices had the desired 
eflfect, for in the morning the swelling was con- 
siderably reduced, and the colour turned jBrom 
black to a pink or hght purple colour, except 
round the wound, which sloughed, and the flesh 
dropped from the bone, causing much pain. May- 
ho visited me early, and seemed much pleased 
when I informed him of my improvement. My 
spirits also were much revived, and having some 
remnants of cotton print left, I made a frock for 
Mayho^s youngest boy, with which he seemed very 
much pleased. I also made Mayho a waistcoat of 
the same material. 

On the 28th I wa^ able to visit the King, 
to whom I intimated a wish to depart on the 
following day for Whydah. He said that he 
felt very reluctant to part with me, and wished 
very much that I would remain in his capital j 
at the same time admitting the necessity of my 
hurrying home to dehver his message to the 
Queen of England, and expressing his great dis- 
appointment that Mr. Freeman had not visited 
him a second time. He again spoke very highly 
of him, and expressed a great wish to have an 



286 TRAVELS IN 

English missionary and school for mechanics in his 
capital. He begged me to point out the necessity 
of this upon my return to England. 

The King now ordered Mayho to get carriers 
ready for my departure for the coast. The bul- 
locks and goats^ which had been presented to me, 
had been forwarded already, leaving only the 
bipeds which were to accompany me when I 
should leave. His Majesty sent me a present of 
three pieces of royal cloth, as well as two pieces 
for the Queen of England^ as specimens of their 
manufacture. He also sent a very handsome 
young girl as a present for Her Majesty. This 
child was about seven years old, and was the 
daughter of a Mahee king, killed in the late war. 
He also sent me eighteen heads of cowries, valued 
at the same number of dollars, to defray my ex- 
penses to Whydah, and two kegs of rum to treat 
my people with, with his best wishes for my wel- 
fare, and hoping I should soon return to visit his 
kingdom. 

During the whole of my stay in Abomey I 
had received the most unbounded kindness from 
the Bang, as well as from his principal officers, 
andj as I have before stated, I had never been 






WESTERN AFRICA. 287 

solicited for any thing by way of dash or present. 
But I had in my possession a walking-stick, which 
contained a spring dagger ; this the King seemed 
to admire much, I therefore asked him to ac- 
cept it as a present, for which he heartily thanked 
me, saying that he should be very glad to do so 
when I returned from the Kong Mountains, re- 
marking that in all probability I should meet with 
some very bad people while in the Mahee country. 
After my return I offered him the stick, which 
he again refused, saying that he would wait till I 
had safely arrived at Griwhee (Whydah). He 
would send a messenger with me thither for the 

purpose of carrying it back to Abomey. He also 

< 

ordered three caboceers to accompany me on my 
journey to the coast. 

All was now arranged for my departure on the 
following morning. I was still very weak, and 
quite lame from the large wound in my leg, which 
was on the lower part of the calf, four inches in 
length and about one and a half in breadth ; but 
my little horse had now recovered from his long 
journey, and was in high condition for another. 
I therefore resolved to pursue my journey, as I 
had intended. 



288 TRATEiiS nr 

August 29th. — ^At daybreak a messenger came 
before I arose firom my mat, to inquire after the 
state of my health, with orders to ascertain whe- 
ther I considered myself quite capable of under- 
taking my journey, to which I replied in the affir- 
matire. In a short time afterwards breakfast 
was sent as usual, and a number of my carriers 
arrived. 

It is always considered consistent with court 
etiquette here, as I have previously stated, that 
a stranger visiting his Majesty should arrive and 
depart firom the capital as nearly as possible when 
the sun is at its meridian, consequently various 
excuses were made to detain me till that period, 
when I was escorted out of the town by my ex- 
cellent old firiend Mayho, and many more of 
the jprincipal men, with a band of music, till we 
crossed the bridge over the moat outside the town 
walls. Here I was given up to the charge of the 
three caboceers before mentioned. 

About two hundred yards firom the gates is a 
fetish-house, in passing which all persons > are 
compelled to dismount, if carried, and walk past 
a certaiu distance ; but the King had very kindly 
forwarded an order to the fetish-man, to allow me 



WESTERN AFRICA. 289 

to ride, on account of my lameness, at which 
every man seemed much amazed, saying that no 
man ever rode over the same ground before. 

I was very much surprised to see one of my 
fowls tied by the feet lying at the door of the 
fetish-house, which of course led to some in- 
quiries. I was informed that while the man 
carrying my fowls was passing the place, this 
cock had crowed, and consequently he had be- 
come the property of the head fetishman. The 
man who carried the basket had not proceeded 
farther, but waited till I arrived, to explain the 
matter. I made some objections to submit to 
such a ridiculous custom, whereupon a messenger 
was immediately sent to the King, who sent an 
order to give up the cock, and also intimated 
that it was not his wish to compel an Englishman 
to observe black man's laws, remarking that 
Englishmen can do no wrong. 

When we arrived at Canamina we overtook 
two of my carriers, who, though big, strong-look- 
ing men, were quite exhausted, and unable to 
proceed. Had I been furnished with female 
carriers, I should have found no difficulty. How- 
ever, I hired an assistant carrier, before I could 

VOL. n. o 



290 TRAVELS IN 

get the men to proceed. After a tiresome ride, 
we arrived at Ahgrimah. When dismounting 
I was quite exhausted, and my leg and foot swollen 
so much, that my cloth boot had burst, and I 
suflPered very much for upwards of two hours from 
pain in my wound. Here I was much amused with 
the pigeons which I had brought from the Kong 
Mountains. Though I had three different speci- 
mens, all rare, they had now become so much 
reconciled to each other as to be all of one family, 
as it were. 

Whenever we halted for the night, and they 
were released from the gourd in which they were 
carried, they never attempted to leave me, but 
kept walking to and fro, near the spot where I 
lay, till they wei'e fed ; and when darkness came 
on, they huddled themselves close to my person. 
I was very much annoyed here on account of 
several of my carriers not arriving, particularly 
as my camp-kettle had not come. I managed, 
however, to get a meal from the natives. 

Aug. 30th. — As soon as I awoke I inquired 
after my luggage, and found that two of my 
principal boxes had not arrived. Whereupon I 
despatched a trusty messenger, sent by Mayho 



WESTERN AFRICA, 291 

to accompany me to Whydah to carry back my 
coat, which I had promised that excellent old 
man, being the only thing I now possessed worth 
his acceptance. He hastened back to Abomey, 
to report the delay to his master, who had fur- 
nished the carriers. Mayho immediately sent 
fresh men with orders to pnnish the villains 
who had hung back, as, he said, he had himself 
examined each of their loads, and found them 
all considerably under the regulated weight for 
carriers. 

At last the men arrived, accompanied by my 
messenger and fresh carriers, late in the after- 
noon. Immediately on their arrival, the offenders 
were brought before the caboceers for judgment ; 
and, after a short palaver, they were sentenced to 
be beaten with a stick as many times as I should 
deem sufficient. Two men were sent into the 
bush for some rods, who soon returned with five, 
about one yard in length and about the thick- 
ness of a man's middle finger. The offenders 
were then ordered to kneel down before me to 
receive their punishment ; but although they had 
been the cause of much uneasiness to me, I could 
not consent to such a severe mode of punishment, 

o2 



292 TRAVELS m 

particularly as all my Dahcmian people had hi- 
therto conducted themselves well; I therefore 
ordered them both to be released, for they had 
already been pinioned. The poor fellows were 
very gratefal for this act of kindness : the 
caboceers also were much gratified, and my day^s 
detention was beneficial in resting my lame leg^ 



\ 



WESTERN AFRICA. 293 



CHAPTER XIII. 

Akpway — Superstition of tho Natives — Singular proceeding of 
my Bullock-Drivers — ^Arrival at Whydah— Kind Beception by 
Don Francisco de Suza — Kindness of all the Merchants — Part- 
ing Interviow with M. de Suza — Sail for Cape Coast — Terror 
of the Mahee Girl (presented to the Queen) at the Boughness of 
the Sea — Arrival at Cape Coast — Kindness of Mr.|Hutton-^Dr. 
Lilleiy — ^Recover from my Fever— Kindness of the Wesleyan 
Missionaries — General Character of Africans — Hints with re- 
gard to fiducating them — Observations on the Manners and 
Customs of the Dahoman, Mahee, and Fellattah Countries — 
Enlightened Conduct of the King of Dahomey — The Dahomans 
— Trade of Dahomey — Pitganism — The Mahees — The Kong 
Mountains — Sail for England. 

Aug. 31st. — We marched early in the morn- 
ing, and about mid-day passed through Ak- 
pway, and . rested for half an hour, partaking of 
some refreshment ; and after marching for another 
hour and a half we arrived at Whyboe, where we 
halted for the night. 

Sept. 1st. — In passing through a thick wood, 
a tree had either fallen across the path, or been 
felled down purposely, so that it with its thick 
branches entirely blocked up the way. Here 



294 TRAVELS IK 

the whole of my party were at a stand-stiU^ and 
could not be prevailed npon to remove the tree, 
so as to enable them to pass^ declaring that the 
fetish had placed it there for a certain purpose, 
unknown to us. However, it was fortunately 
only a small tree; I therefore dismounted, and 
removed it sufficiently to allow us to pass. At 
this the men seemed somewhat ashamed of their 
credulity; but before we had proceeded much 
farther, a more formidable obstacle presented 
itself, which almost convinced me that some old 
fetish-man had been exerting his wizard powers 
to play me some unlucky cantrip. The head of a 
young bull, apparently newly cut off, was placed 
in the middle of the path. Upon a close inspec- 
tion I found it to be the head of one of my own 
bullocks, which was reported sick the day pre- 
viously to my maxching from Abomey. 

Nothing more worthy of notice occurred till we 
approached Whydah, when, at a little distance 
from that town, we met the men, who had driven 
my bullocks, returning. I asked them respecting 
it, and why the head was placed in the path. 
They replied, that as the animal could proceed 
no farther, they thought it best to kiU it, and 



WESTERN Africa. 295 

dispose of tlie meat in the most advantageous 
manner; but lest I should suppose the animal 
had not been dead^ the head had been left in the 
path^ to allow me the satisfaction of ocular de- 
monstration. 

Upon our arrival in Whydah, according to cus- 
tom, I reported my return to the caboceer, or 
avoga, as he is called here, who received me 
very cordially. He then accompanied me to old 
Don Francisco, who had so kindly exerted his 
influence with the King on my behalf in fur- 
thering the objects of my travels into the interior. 
Unfortunately the old man was suffering much 
fix)m rheumatism, and had for several days refused 
to see any one, but he readily received me. He 
cardially congratulated me on my success, declar- 
ing that nothing could have alSbrded him more 
gratification than the news of my grand and 
generous reception by the King at Abomey, 
and assuring me that he should be at all times 
ready to assist any Enghshman by all means in 
his power. I asked him for a biU of the goods and 
articles he had furnished me for presents to the 
King ; but as yet the generous old man has never 
furnished me with any, though they must have 



296 TRAVELS IN 

cost him about one hundred pounds. He also 
begged me to let him know how he could further 
serve me^ telling me that anything in his extensiye 
stores was at my service. 

Owing to M. de Suza's severe indisposition, I 
made but a short stay, and hastened to the EngUsh 
fort, where I found many old firiends anxiously 
waiting to see me and welcome me back. Mr. 
R. Hanson, agent for Mr. Hutton of Cape Coast, 
with whom I Uved previously to my journey into 
the interior, gave me a very cordial welcome, 
and rendered me every assistance in his power, 
while suffering from fever, after my return to 
Whydah. I also received great kindness from 
Mr. James Hanson, of Ahguay, who was on busi- 
ness at Whydah, and, in fact, I experienced every 
mark of civility and kindness from the gentle- 
men, Americans, French, Spanish, and Portuguese, 
with whom I became acquainted during my resi- 
dence in Whydah. 

My state of health was but little better for 
some time, though the wound in my leg seemed 
to improve in condition. A few days after my 
return to Whydah, the Jane of London, Captain 
Lee, Commander, arrived in the roadstead, to 



-^-^H 



WESTERN AFBICA. 297 

take in goods for Mr. Hutton. The captain liad 
siiflTered much from fever, but was now slowly- 
recovering. To him I feel indebted for much 
kindness. He afforded me, with my stock of 
animals, a free passage to Cape Coast, for which 
place we were to sail on the 20th of September. 

The day previous to my sailing, my old friend, 
De Suza, sent for me to bid me good-bye. He 
was very ill in bed, and scarcely able to speak. 
He begged me to let his agent know if I should 
be in want of anything from his stores, and 
assured me that whatever I might require was 
quite at my service. I was, however, already 
under so many obligations to him that I de- 
clined accepting anything further, but again asked 
him for my biQ, with which he declined to fur- 
nish me. 

At parting he shook me by the hand, and in a 
low whisper bade me a long good-bye, with every 
wish for my future happiness. I could not help 
feeling regret at that moment that such a man 
should be coupled with traffic so abominable as 
that of buying and selling human beings; for 
he universally bears the character of the most 
generous and humane man on the coast of Africa, 

o3 



298 TRAVELS IN 

wUch character I am also bound to give him so 
far as I am concerned. 

Early on the morning of the 20th Sep- 
tember^ I went on board the Jane; Mr. R. 
Hanson kindly rendering me every assistaace^ by 
furnishing carriers for my luggage and cattle to 
the beach^ which is distant two miles. The 
morning was unfavourable on account of the 
heavy rains. The little Mahee girl in my chaise 
had never before seen the sea^ and consequently 
felt much alarm. She could scarcely be urged 
to go into the canoe^ though I told her she was 
going back to her Abomey mother^ of whom she 
was very fond. Unfortunately the sea was 
very high and the sudT heavy^ and though the ca- 
noemen displayed great skill in managing their 
boat^ yet a sea passed completely over us &om 
bow to stem^ filling it^ whioh^ but for the buoy- 
ancy of the wood of which it is formed, must 
have sunk. However, so long as the canoe can 
be kept end on the surf, the danger is not great. 
The canoes are all made from the cotton«-tree. 

The little girl, who was upon her knees in the 
bottom of tibe canoe, had certainly little cause to 
be. pleased with a sea VSs^ and is very likely to 



WESTERN AFRICA. 299 

remember her first sea voyage for a long time. As 
soon as tlie little creature was able^ for she was 
almost suffocated by the surf^ she called out for 
lier Abomey mother. 

We soon got the water baled out and reached 
the Jane without another washing. Captain Lee 
Idndly offered me dry clothing, but the greater 
part of my luggage was not yet on board, conse- 
quently I remained on deck till all was safe, with 
the exception of a few articles which undoubtedly 
were stolen, but I may congratulate myself that 
I was not a loser to a greater extent. 

The ship soon got under weigh, and was shortly 
afterwards boarded by H.M.S. Brig RangeVy 
who kindly offered me medical aid. On the fol- 
lowing day I had a severe attack of fever, but, 
through Captain Lee^s kind attention, I suffered 
comparatively little, though from so many recent 
attacks I was extremely weak and reduced in 
flesh. Our progress was very slow, owing to the 
foul winds and strong head currents. On the 
following day the boats of the Flying Fish, Enghsh 
war-^brig, boarded us, and remained on board 
Dearly the whole of the day, preparing letters for 
England, for which the Jane was shortly to. sail. 



300 TRAVELS IN 

On the 22d the brig herself bore down upon 
us. She was on a sharp look-out for a crack 
slaver, which was expected daily on her iirst trip, 
of which the commander had received private 
information. This vessel I afterwards learned 
was captured by the Flying Fishy in spite of the 
slaver's boasted sailing qualities, and fighting 
captain, of whom they much vaunted, but they 
generally fall short when opposed to British 
(pirates, as the slave-dealers term them) ships- 
of-war. 

On the 27th we anchored off Cape Coast Castle, 
and were soon recognised by the officers of the 
fort and other gentlemen merchants of the town, 
who are generally on the look-out for fresh arri- 
vals. I was met upon landing by the officers of 
the garrison, and Mr. Hutton, who had always 
been a very kind friend to me. The officers invited 
me to become an honorary member of their mess, 
though all but one were entire strangers to me, 
having been changed during my absence from 
Cape Coast. I returned, however, to my old quar- 
ters with Mr. Hutton, where every attention ancL 
kindness were shown me during the remaining 
time I was on the coast, during the last few 



WESTERN AFRICA. 301 

weeks of which I suflfered much from fever and 
ague^ accompanied with diarrhoea^ which nearly 
terminated my earthly career. During this latter 
period I was invited into the Castle by the acting 
governor, Dr. Lilley, who was also Colonial Sur- 
geon. 

I was there under his immediate treatment, 
which was no doubt beneficial, though I found 
that the use of strong medicines acted powerfully 
upon my constitution, and therefore determined 
to be guided entirely by the dictates of nature. 
My attacks were both violent and frequent; 
every second day for some time, the interval 
gradually increasing. As soon as I found the 
ague about. to commence I lay down and covered 
myself with as many clothes as I could obtain, 
and so soon as the shivering ceased, of course 
violent fever succeeded, accompanied with intole- 
rable thirst. T always arranged to have a quantity 
of water placed near my bedside ; and generally 
drank half-a-pint every five minutes. Thirteen or 
fourteen half-pints generally produced copious 
perspiration, and the fever soon decreased. The 
only effect I experienced from numerous repeti- 
tious of this treatment wa« weakness, probably 



302 TRAVBLS nr 

firom excesflXYe perspiratioiL. I would neyer re- 
commend bathing in cold water while subject to 
attacks of fever and agae^ as I found by a series of 
experiments in my own person : it is very likely 
to strengthen the fever and ague. I make no 
pretensions to advise medically^ but merely state 
facts from personal experience^ considering it a 
duly to my fellow-creatures^ to state anything 
which might be beneficial to mankind while in 
that pestilential climate. 

I must not omit to mention the kindness of the 
Rev. T. B. Freeman^ and other members of the 
Wesleyan mission estabUshed on the coast^ and 
also of the Rev. William Hanson^ the Colonial 
chaplain^ as well as his amiable lady. I owe a 
debt of gratitude to the whole of the merchants 
on the coast, whether native or British, for 
I experienced the utmost kindness from all of 
them ; and although I have been bound to speak 
unfavourably of the uncivilized African, it must 
be remembered that all barbarous nations are 
similar as £ar as regards honesly and industry. I 
trust, however, that no uncharitable conclusion 
may be drawn from the plain statement of 
facts which fell under my own observation. It 



/ 



WESTERN AFRICA. 303 

is void of all prejudice, for my beUef is that 
were Africans educated, and their morals properly 
attended to, they would become an example 
to countries who have for centuries enjoyed the 
advantages of civilization. To many of them I 
must confess myself under considerable obliga- 
tions, which I shall ever remember with feelings 
of gratitude ; though I am convinced, that a 
partial education, by merely reading the Scrip- 
tures, (unaccompanied by any school-books, such 
as books of history or mechanics,) more par- 
ticularly when the meaning is not thoroughly 
explained to them in their own language, is of 
comparatively Uttle benefit. 

Our missionaries have no doubt many difficulties 
to contend with : first, because the English language 
is entirely new to the natives, so that besides learn- 
ing to pronounce the words, they have also to learn 
the meaning of each word. Another drawback 
is, that when out of school the greater part of the 
children are mixed up with the uneducated popu- 
lation, and never use the English language except 
when in school. They are also exposed to every 
vice in practice, so that in many instances a 



304 TRAVELS IN 

partifd education is only the means of enabling 
them to become more perfect in villany. 

I cannot help thinking that if missionary schools 
were situated in some healthy situation at a little 
distance from the towns^ and schools of industry 
were established in conjunction with them^ the 
most beneficial results would follow. The boys 
intended to become mechanics should be selected 
according to their abilities^ and be allowed to 
make choice of their trade. The school would 
in a short time support itself^ and the variety 
of occupations would relieve the monotony of 
instruction in one branch of education alone. 

At present, when the young men have obtained 
an imperfect education, that is to say, a knowledge 
of reading and writing, with a slight knowledge of 
figures, they consider themselves of too inuch 
importance to accept a menial employment^ and 
being unacquainted with any trade, their first 
object is to seek to become agents or clerks to our 
European merchants, the number of whom are 
comparatively few, and employment consequently 
cannot be given to many. In many instances 
these parties obtain goods on credit, either from 



WESTERN AFRICA. 305 

the resident merchants or from the American 
trading captains^ and then consider themselves 
to be great men, and that they must keep 
up an establishment, which they frequently do, 
considerably beyond their means. The result of 
this is, that in a short time they find themselves 
involved in debt beyond any chance of redemption. 
The value of the goods is then soon squandered 
away, and the would-be merchant is compelled to 
retire into the bush, or to some other place of 
secrecy, where the rest of his life is spent in 
swindling and villany. 

Before concluding my Narrative I would make 
a few observations upon the manners and customs 
of the Dahoman, Mahee, and Fellattah coun- 
tries, with the amendments made in his own 
territories by the present intelligent and generous 
King of Dahomey. The most important of these is 
the abolition, in a great measure, of human sacri- 
fices. These are now only tolerated in the execution 
of culprits condemned to death for offences of the 
gravest character. The King has entirely abolished 
the power of his caboceers to make human sacri- 
fices, and only allows them to sacrifice the lower 



306 TRAVELS IN 

animals. Next I may mention his entire revision 
of the criminal as well as petty laws of his kingdom ; 
and the establishment of a court of appeal at Abo- 
mey in cases of dissatisfaction or injustice. The 
King has also much improved the condition of tlie 
Dahoman army. The whole of the Mahee country 
is now subject to Dahomey. 

The Dahcmians are generally a fine intelligent 
race of people, both the male and female. Guinea 
worm, or elephantiasis, does not exist in either 
the Dahoman, Mahee, or FeUatah coimtries. 
The average height of the Dahoman males is 
about five feet nine inches, and they are well 
proportioned. They are much more industrious 
than the natives of Whydah, or other parts on 
the coast, and are good farmers, and take much 
care in rearing stock. There are several Moors 
resident in Abomey, but whether voluntarily or 
not, I was unable to learn; but should suppose 
they were originally prisoners, from the fact of 
their refusing information respecting their migra- 
tion. In fact, individuals from all the tribes of 
Central Africa may be found in Abomey. 

The trade of Dahomey is chiefly in palm-oil. 



WESTERN AFRICA. 307 

Ivory is seldom brought to the coast^ except when 
smuggled^ owing to the heavy duty imposed upon 
it. The manufactures are limited^ cloth being 
the only article; but they excel in that article. 
The kingdom of Dahomey is chiefly level; the 
soil rich red loam ; and, except in the immediate 
vicinity of the capital, tolerably well watered* 
Gold is as abundant there as in the Ashantee 
country, but, owing to the slave-trade, it is seldom 
inquired after. 

The kingdom of Dahomey originally extended 
no farther in a northern direction than the river 
Zoa, or Lagos, between the seventh and eighth de- 
grees of north latitude. In marching in a north- 
easterly direction from Abomey, the first of the 
Kong Mountains is situated in latitude 8® &0' 
north, and extends in the same direction as far 
as 9° 30', although mountains of less magnitude 
are met with of the table form, at intervals, as far 
as 13« 6' north. 

The Mahee people are lighter in colour than 
the Dahomans, and are very active and hardy, 
lively in their ^disposition, but said to be very 
revengeful; although, as I was under the pa- 
tronage of the King, I did not observe any thing 



308 TRAVELS m 

in their characters which manifested this. The 
females are considerably smaller than those of 
Dahomey^ and may be called rather good-looking^ 
and^ like the Dahomans^ are very chaste ; though^ 
as in the former country, polygamy is tolerated to 
any extent. They are all Pagans here, as well as in 
Dahomey. Though many Mohamedans are to be 
found in the army of the latter, they are never 
interfered with in their religious opinions. 

Formerly the government of the kingdom 
of Dahomey was despotic, still the country has 
a much more civilized appearance than the petty 
states under repubhcan governments, which are 
generally involved in disputes and wars. 

The Mahees appear to be a distinct people, 
independently of the difference of colour. The 
general formation of their head differs consider- 
ably firom others. It is generally elongated from 
the ear backwards, and the philoprogenitive 
organ is very prominent. The frontal bone is 
seldom divided, and in many instances the upper 
part of the skull, as I have previously stated, is 
without any division whatever ; but this is also 
the case in the Dahomans. 

The chin of the Mahees is generally shorter 



WESTERN AFRICA. 309 

than that of the Dahomans^ or people near the 
coast ; their lips are not so thick ; their teeth are 
very good, and they take great pains in cleaning 
them, which is generally the case on the whole of 
the west coast, where it is a universal custom, 
when not otherwise employed, to brush the 
teeth with the end of what they term a chew- 
stick, generally a piece of the branch of the 
gwaba, about the length and thickness of a black- 
lead pencil. They consider ' that chewing this 
kind of wood prevents thirst. Probably, from the 
acid which it contains, it is superior to any other 
sort of tooth-brush. 

On many parts of the west coast they sharpen 
the two front teeth in the upper jaw by filing, or 
grinding oflF the angles, so as to bring them to a 
narrow point. The Mahee and Fellattah skuUs I 
found lighter and thinner than the Annagoos, or 
Dahomans, or those on the coast, many of the 
latter being as thick as half an inch in the hinder 
part of the skull, and of a spongy or porous 
nature. The nose of the Mahees does not partake 
in the slightest degree of the negro, but strongly 
resembles that of Europeans. They excel in their 
manufactures, which are composed of cloth, and 



310 TRAVELS IN 

knitted night-caps^ made exactly on the same 
principle as in England. They are also clever in 
the manufacture of iron^ and are well acquainted 
with native dyes. 

The natives, both of Dahomey and Mahee, are 
very temperate. They are excellent cooks. Their 
dishes are generally soups, containing various 
vegetables, amongst which is a gelatine pod of an 
oblong form, called occro. This is considered 
very strengthening. I believe it might be culti- 
vated in Great Britain. It grows on a plant very 
much resembling the stramonium. Their fer* 
mented drink is peto, a native beer, which I have 
already described. They attain a greater age 
than in flat, low countries ; and are very in- 
dustrioua in comparison with many neighbouring 
countries. The King of Dahomey enforces culti- 
vation over all his dominions. 

The general composition of the Kong Mouu- 
tains, occupied by the Mahees, is granite, hme- 
stone, marble, and iron-stone. On the plains 
or valleys I found, protruding above the surface, 
large masses of fused iron mixed with round 
pebbles. Several fragments I broke off, which 
were nearly as heavy as the pure ore. The out- 



WESTERN AFRICA. 311 

side of these masses had a glazed appearance. 
From the north to the south side this chain 
of mountains does not exceed forty-five or fifty 
miles. The principal animals occupying the Kong 
Mountains I have already noticed. 

The Fellattahs are a different race to either the 
Dahomans or Mahees. They are a more warlike 
people than the Mahees; are light and active in 
their movements, very courageous, but also 
revengefiil and stubborn, though I have been 
informed, that in a body they cannot fight a 
losing battle. They are much intermixed with 
other tribes, and hold great sway, occupying a 
very extensive territory, supposed to extend from 
eight degrees west longitude to Bomou, and also 
a considerable distance north and south. The 
real Fellattahs are much darker than the Mahees, 
with high square frontal bone and well-propor- 
tioned head, in general ; hair, thick and woolly. 
They are more civiUzed and ingenious than the 
Mahees or Dahomans, and are also good farmers. 
Even the system of drainage has found its way 
to this remote region, many of their indigo fields 
being well drained, as also those in the Mahee 
country. Their trade is not very extensive, being 



312 TRAVELS IN 

chiefly confined to their own locality^ and is 
generally a system of barter, though cowries and 
cloth are the general currency of the country. 
Their mode of living is much the same as in the 
Mahee country, but they use less hogs' flesh, and 
they eat both horses and dogs, and also several 
species of serpents, frogs, and guanos. 

I sailed from Cape Coast for England in 
February, 1846. Previous to my going on boards 
I had many little presents sent me, both in the 
shape of sea-stores and keepsakes, from the mer- 
chants and natives in their employment, as well 
as from the resident Missionaries. I also received 
some little necessaries from a party of Missionaries 
who visited Cape Coast on their way to the Calabar, 
or Bonny River, in one of Mr. Jamieson's ships ; 
I beheve one of them was Mr. Waddel. Our 
vessel was the Albion of Guernsey, a small 
schooner of only one hundred and fifty tons; 
in my precarious state of health, therefore, I was 
very uncomfortable. 

After leaving Cape Coast we called at Accra, 
and took onboard some ivory and gold, remaining 
at the above place one day and a night. During 
this time I went on shore to visit some of my old 



WESTERN AFRICA. 313 

firiends, amongst whom was Mr. Bannerman^ 
whose kindness and hospitality are well known, 
both to the naval and military officers who have 
ever visited that settlement. I was also kindly 
received by the resident Wesleyan Missionary. 

Here I found an American Missionary and his 
wife, accompanied by the widow of a brother 
Missionary, lately deceased. Poor woman! she 
was apparently fast approaching to her long home. 
They were all in delicate health, and were passing 
down the coast for a change of air, but were 
obliged to leave the vessel. 

During my stay I received extreme kindness 
and attention at the mission-house. I also called 
at the former residence of Mr. Hanson, a mer- 
chant lately deceased. His brother, the Chaplain 
of Cape Coast, and Mr. R. Hanson from Why- 
dah, were both there. From these gentlemen I 
experienced great kindness, both now as well as on 
former occasions. Here I again found my old 
charger, who had carried me during my long jour- 
ney in the interior. He was now the property of 
the Rev. William Hanson, and had only arrived 
a few days before from Whydah. It had probably 
been taken little care of, for the poor animaT was 

VOL, II. P 



314 TRAYELS IN WESTERN AFRICA. 

much reduced in flesh. It recognised mj yoice^ 
and when I spoke^ it immediately neighed and 
pawed the ground^ anxious to come to me. 

Mr. Hanson^ its owner, asked me to put a pair 
of fore-shoes on it, remarking that it was the 
last act of kindness I should ever have an oppor- 
tunity of bestowing upon the noble Uttle animal. 
This I readily assented to: after which I pro- 
ceeded on board, when we immediately set sail 
for England ; where, after a tedious and uncom- 
fortable passage of three months, we arrived. I 
had much improved in health during the passage, 
though my acconmiodation was bad, for I was 
obliged to sleep on deck during six weeks of the 
time, owing to the suffocating smell from the 
heated com, amongst which some of the pahn-oil 
puncheons had bixrst. 



RANGE OF THE THERMOMETER, 

As OBSBBYBD IN DaHOMBT FROM JuiTE 11 TO JuLT 7, 1846. 



Rise and Fall 
during Day, l^om 6 a.m. 

to 6 P.M. 


Remarks. 


Date. 


Rise. 
Deg. 

80 
82 
81 
82 
80 
81 

80 

82 
80 
81 
78 
78 
78 
82 
77 
81 
82 
82 
79 
82 
82 
80 
77 

82 

81 

80 
82 

1 


FalL 

Deg. 
76 

78 
76 
76 
77 
76 

74 

76 
74 
74 
74 
74 
76 
76 
76 
74 
73 
73 
74 
73 
74 
73 
78 

78 

70 
73 


June 11 
» 12 
„ 18 
„ H 
„ 16 
„ 16 

„ 17 
„ 18 

„ 19 
„ 20 

„ 21 
„ 22 
„ 23 
„ 24 
„ 26 
„ 26 
„ 27 
„ 28 
„ 29 
„ 30 
July 1 
„ 2 
„ 3 

„ 6 

„ 7 


In house, against clay wall. 

In house. 

Ditto. 

Ditto. 

Ditto. 

Ditto. 

( Heavy tornado at 2 p.m.; fall suddenly 

\ to 740. 

[and rainy season. 
Unusually cold ; nativos feverish ; cold 
Cloudy. 
Cloudy. 

Morning cloudy. 

Cold and showery all day ; tornado. 
Cloudy in the evening ; very dark night. 
Wind; storm. 
Heavy shower. 

Cold rainy night ; wind west. 
Very windy, and unusually steady. 
Slight showers ; wind west. 
Showers in the morning ; day cloudy. 
/ Heavy tornado i lightning and thunder 
\ heavy. 

L This day temperature changeable 
< during a tomaido, the heaviest seen ; 
f thermometer fell to 70®. 
Unusually cold in the morning. 



THE EN1\ 



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ft. CLAT, PftlNTKBy BftSAD STREET UILL. 



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